was a time when I would spend every night of the week playing a game
with hundreds of my friends and guildmates, running raids that numbered
up to 144 people, taking on epic content and staying up far too late to
be of any use at work the next day. And don’t get me wrong – those days
will always be special to me. I’ll always look back on them fondly. But
times have changed. We’re no longer in our twenties; most of us have
real jobs and careers now, not to mention families of our own and other
responsibilities. It was sad to let those days slide away to happy
memories, but a small group of those friends have stuck together over
the years and we’ve learned that all of the fun didn’t come necessarily
from the epic raid content, but simply from playing a good game with
some good friends.

And that’s Dungeons and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited
in a
nutshell: a good game for good friends. A handful of my closest online
friends and I have been playing DDO for a few weeks now and it’s
been a crate of catnip at an Andrew Lloyd Webber show in the
‘80s.  We can log in, immediately run a new instance , and we’re
not held back if one of the gang can’t make it that night. This works
out well  for us, since we have two members who have just had
their first child together, two more with a couple of toddlers, a few
of us single guys whose schedules can be unpredictable from day to day
due to work or other engagements, and a younger guy who’s probably
busier than all of us as he goes through training and preparation for
his application to law enforcement. Some of us get called away on
business. Some of us get called away by the opposite sex. We never know
who’s going to be online from night to night. But it doesn’t matter,
because if any of us want to play DDO, we can, and we don’t have to
spend weeks figuring out a play schedule with the others.

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The lure of the opposite may apply to
some in game

There are a couple of elements that make DDO so forgiving when it comes
to group makeup. First, virtually every instance can be played at
varying levels of difficulty. This means most instances can be run
solo, duo, small group, or full group. The story and setting don’t
necessarily change with the difficulty level, apart from varying
degrees of difficulty, so if you’re one who doesn’t want to miss any of
it but can’t seem to get a group easily, worry not--you can do it solo
and still experience it all.

“But, not all instances are solo!” you may protest. This is true. Even
though most of the early instances can be done solo there are a few
that require more party members. But that doesn’t mean you can’t
venture in alone. There are NPC hirelings in the game that can join you
or your party to add the support you need. These mercenaries will work
for you with in-game currency, or you may opt to get some gold ticket
hirelings who are purchased through the DDO Store. The gold ticket
version allows you to summon multiple hirelings, allowing you to bring
along a full group of computer-controlled characters. So whether you
want to run an elite dungeon by yourself, or simply fill in your last
spot with a healer without having to worry about finding another
reliable player, you're covered.

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Playing alone? Bring a group of

If you’re more of a people person, the game offers a pretty solid LFG
tool. Simply pick a quest you want to finish, and hit the LFG button.
With so many in the game now that it’s gone F2P, it won’t be hard to
find other willing adventurers.

An important thing to consider before jumping into the game is that
it’s not your average MMOG. There are persistent zones but the game is
heavily instanced. This means that outside of city hubs you will be
exploring either on your own or with your group. There are advantages
and disadvantages to this approach, but the purpose of this article is
not to discuss gaming theory. It is noted here though, because this
mechanic makes for a much different feel than almost anything else
you’ve played, with a few exceptions. Every quest is an instance. You
won’t need to pick up a quest from an outpost, run halfway around the
world to kill 10 wolves, and run back. You’ll pick up a quest, enter an
instance, and the entire quest will play out as you crawl through the
dungeon or zone. In this way the game plays out very much like tabletop
Dungeons and Dragons modules (or “adventures” for you new 3.0+
D&Ders). There’s a ton of ‘em, so you’ll never run out of things to
do. You can also repeat the adventures if you enjoyed them or simply
want the loot again. If you complete an adventure on one difficulty you
will unlock the next hardest difficulty level, so the next time you go
back you can make it even more challenging.

The new combat system is fun, though it can be difficult to get used
to. I didn’t play the original DDO so I can’t compare it to the combat
in the original game. With the new system targets are implied. This
means you’ll automatically target the closest NPC (or item) in front of
you. Right clicking or entering targeting mode allows you to aim, so
you can swing around or shoot an arrow from a distance with relative
ease. Then, simply left click to let loose your basic attack. You can
hold down the left mouse button to continue attacking, or you can use
special abilities you’ve unlocked. This is where I found the game to
get a bit more challenging. I’m a mouse clicker by nature, and that’s
not a good thing in this game. To execute a special move, I’ll have to
stop attacking so I can move my mouse down to the appropriate skill
button, and then click. This often means by the time I find and click
the ability I want, the mob will have leaped away or run around to
flank me, and my special ability gets wasted. Yes, enemies will dodge
and move about; they won’t just stand there attacking the way they do
in many other games. Players with good reflexes and dexterity (real
life DEX, not the character stat) should have a good time with it;
macro mashers and rotation junkies, not so much. You really do have to
keep an eye on the battle, and seldom will you have time to even look
down at your hotbar, let alone stare blankly at it while performing
rehearsed rotations.

If you just can’t get used to it though, there are options to change
combat a little. You can turn on sticky targeting and other toggles to
make things a little more comfortable.

Min/maxers will love this game. It’s D&D, after all, where
min/maxing was born. You can spend hours playing with your stat numbers
to work out the best possible build for any class. If you’re not so
much into numbers, you can skip all of that too by simply going with a
predefined build that will allow you to jump right into the action.
Using the new D&D ruleset, character advancement comes in the form
of enhancements, skills and feats that you earn by gaining enough
experience through the adventures to raise your rank, and in turn, your
level. You also have the option to multiclass when you reach the
appropriate level so your options, by all definitions, are limitless.
Very few, if any, other games have as much diversity in class and
character development as DDO.

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Min/maxers heaven

So what’s with the F2P model and microtransactions? It was a very
calculated and intelligent move by Turbine to bring life back into the
game. And so far it seems to have worked. The population is anything
but suffering.

Items in the store are, for the most part, available elsewhere in the
game. The exceptions to this are certain services, like some classes,
races, and adventure packs. The store offers players an easy way to add
convenience to their game. As mentioned earlier you can buy gold ticket
hirelings from the store, or you can purchase health potions which come
in handy if your healer has died, you’re low on health potions, and you
somehow have to get his shard to the resurrection shrine that several
nasties are guarding. Gear can also be purchased from the store if
you’re in desperate need of an upgrade to a specific item and can’t
afford the prices on the in-game market. You can also get bags, fast
travel options like teleportation wands, cosmetic items like hair dyes,
and a lot of other goodies, ranging from the convenient to the
practical to the cosmetic,  as well as adventure packs and
adventure pack trial keys for your friends. Most of the prices are
relatively cheap, allowing your dollar to go further than it may in
some other microtransaction based games. Of special note, if you do pay
for a subscription, you will receive store credit on a monthly basis,
which is often more than enough to meet your monthly store needs.

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The DDO Store

Overall, the game feels very much like D&D. Fans of the table top
game will certainly have no trouble understanding the way the game
works and viewing it as an extension of those late night sessions
rolling the ol’ D20. All of the classic encounters and secrets of the
D&D universe are there. For example, sewer goos have a tendency to
damage metal weapons, so it’s a good idea to bring a non-metal weapon
or an old junker to swap out, just in case. The diversity and sheer
amount of stats and ability customization  is nothing short of
mind boggling. The adventures are fun and as challenging or as
forgiving as you want them to be. And you can play by yourself or with
any number of friends. Best of all, there’s tons of free content to
sink your teeth into. No, you won’t be raiding with 143 of your friends
and guildmates, but you can have fun for hours at a time, or just 15
minutes if that’s all your schedule allows; so you won’t suffer a
gamer’s hangover at work the next day.

You can download and play Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron
Unlimited directly from the official website at href="">

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016