Going It Alone:
Soloing and DDO
It is a topic that has been debated many times in the various fan sites
and forums that talk about Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO): can I
solo in this game? Is there a certain class or build that can
solo? What if I go to dungeons that are below my level so that
it's easier? There are some things to examine regarding how DDO
works to explain how feasible soloing is.
If you want to solo in DDO, the choice of race and class is easy--you
want a warforged barbarian. With the immunities of warforged, damage
reduction, and bonuses, it is the clear choice. However, there are
certain problems for warforged barbarians. Healing is the biggest. You
will have to spend a lot of money on potions of repair. You won't be
able to get into locked checks, and you will have to suffer through
traps, even with your bonus against traps. It's all about durability
when soloing, and damage dealing capacity second. As for wizards
and sorcerers, sorry, no way--you're going to be group-bound.
Rogues, sure, but as soon as you get into a situation where you have to
fight, and it's a tough fight, your soloing career will start its
downturn. You get the idea.
The difficulty levels of dungeons increase
as you go along. As you advance, you run into more and more foes in
encounters. Any dungeon master who creates their own adventures, and
started with level 1 dungeons, can tell you it's hard not to kill the
adventurers when they begin. You place small amounts of weak enemies in
adventures, and this principle applies to DDO just as well. But
as you advance, this changes, and after a few levels, a group of
adventurers can handle quite a bit.
When soloing in DDO, this will be the big problem you run into.
Certainly you can handle the small amounts of foes at first, but after
level 2, you will run into larger and larger amounts of foes.
Soon, some of those foes can damage you fast enough that even when
you're killing them off as fast as you can, you are killed by the rest,
whether by spell, arrow or sword.
Another issue is experience. In theory, one can pick the repeatable
adventures several times in
DDO, thereby avoiding adventures that your
choice of solo class and race can't survive. It sounds like a great
idea, but it's not as realistic as you might think. The problem
is experience. The first time you do an adventure, you gain a 20% bonus
to experience. You can also do the quest at a higher (more difficult
level) for more experience. But each time you repeat the quest
you receive a 20% penalty on the experience awards. Eventually,
you receive zero experience.
There are enough quests that you could solo, but not enough that are
feasible for one particular class and race combination, within certain
level ranges, to support your needs for experience after about 2nd
level. Eventually, all the adventures you can handle that give
experience (if they are repeatable), will be used up. This may
change in time as Turbine adds more and more adventures to DDO.
But for now this means of progression is a dead end.
Another problem is equipment. As you
advance, when you visit a chest again and again, you will find less
useful and valuable items in it. Eventually, you won't find a
thing in the chest. You probably will have enough in the way of
good equipment that this won't matter. You'll be selling everything
else, but you will sell them for less and less, meaning potions that
fill the gaps in the abilities of your class or race will eventually be
out of your financial reach.
Certain race and class combinations can solo, by repeating all
repeatable quests, and doing others using magic to buff up any weak
spots in their builds. But in a few levels the reduced experience
for repeating missions, the encounters designed for large and tough
parties, and the financial costs of upkeep in the forms of magic and
equipment, will make soloing less feasible. The bottom line is that DDO
is a group-centered game, and will probably remain so.