F: In the Meantime
In the Meantime What DDO Players do between Sessions of Their Favorite Game By Ralsu "); //-- No matter how much you love a game, you're going to need a break...
In the Meantime
What DDO Players do between Sessions of Their Favorite Game
No matter how much you love a game, you're going to need a break every now and again. Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) is not exempt from this axiom. Whether you've reached the boiling point after your third straight raid wipe against the Warforged Titan or you don't have enough time to get into another long quest, you'll want to give DDO a rest occasionally. The question becomes what else to play. I did some poking around on the official DDO forums, in-game, and via PMs to ask DDO gamers how they entertained themselves when DDO is in "timeout." I'll share some of those responses with you, discuss the virtues and vices of the games mentioned, and add a little commentary on that game's impact on DDO.
not mention WoW. You just can't. Blizzard's MMOG behemoth has changed the shape of the gaming industry with its massive popularity. Many DDO players are WoW veterans. Some came to DDO looking for a change--something different. Others came to DDO just to see the new game and find out what's it's all about.
Just about everyone and his mother has at least tried WoW. Among it's crowd-pleasing features are the ability to solo any class to the level cap, an overwhelming (in a good way) loot system that makes rares feel special, and the full array of time sinks. WoW has questing, crafting, player-vs.player combat (PvP), raids, and huge world to explore. WoW didn't suck me in when I tried, though I could recognize it had all the right pieces. I just didn't care for the graphics, and a large portion of the player base seemed immature to me.
Let's take a look at the features of WoW:
|Solo all the way to level 60||Then 40-man raids and PvP until your eyes bleed|
|Several crafting professions to keep you busy||Only a few are profitable at this time|
|Millions of players worldwide||Server
and raid instance queues
|Solid selection of classes||Some classes get pigeon-holed in the end game|
game favors certain builds
Impact on DDO: WoW has a large impact on almost every game. People compare newer games such as DDO to WoW all the time--even if the new game isn't trying to be like WoW at all.Some people will leave DDO to return to WoW because they can't escape the pull of WoW's addictive elements or the friends they left behind. A few will go back to WoW because they were never really looking for something new in the first place. Because both WoW and DDO have a monthly fee and can take up a lot of time, I don't see many people spending money on both for a long time.
Neverwinter Nights (NWN)Since DDO draws in fans of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), DDO is filled with people who have played Bioware's D&D-based role-playing game. NWN lacks the massively-multiplayer aspect of DDO, but it uses a strong foundation of D&D rules and lets players enjoy what amounts to online D&D campaigns. When they've played through the content that comes in the box, players can play modules created by other players or make on of their own and act as Dungeon Master (DM) for their friends.
I must confess that I have never played NWN. I watched it closely during its development and saw that it launched to rave reviews. Sadly, I was a poor college student unable to shell out the cash to upgrade my pc at the time. By the time I was fiscally able to craft a machine that would run NWN, there were too many other hot games on the market that I just "had" to try.
Those who are true D&D fans swear by NWN, though. They say it is very faithful to tabletop rules and that the module-building tools are fun and easy to use. The combat in NWN is a little slow, but this is intentional. The idea is to bring that tabletop experience to your pc and let you play D&D with people on the other side of the country.
Let's take a look at the features of NWN:
to D&D rules
to prep spells can be tedious
can create their own modules
of player modules varies wildly
D&D races and classes playable
get no love from the player base
of reading in-game
companions have lousy AI
Impact on DDO: NWN will not pull players away from DDO. The game is 4 years old and a sequel is on the way. Fans of DDO's fast-paced combat may be a little bored with the slower pace of NWN. Overall, NWN merely offers an escape on the occasions when players need a break from DDO. And with no monthly fee, NWN is always there waiting like an old friend you visit when you're in your hometown.
My experience with D&D began in my college days. A $20 investment into a Player's Handbook brought me immeasurable fun. My longest D&D campaign spanned 4 years and was responsible for the birth of the bard named Ralsu. Oh what fun I had letting Ralsu talk his way into and out of trouble! The only reason I stopped playing D&D was because I moved to the other side of the country.
I haven't found a new D&D group in the last 3 years. Honestly, I haven't looked very hard. I love D&D and would play it in an instant, but it's very time consuming. It usually requires me to pack a lot of gear (books, dice, character sheets, scrap paper) and go somewhere. In my busy life as a father and husband, I find I get unpredictable spurts of free time. I might get 1 hour here and two hours there.
It's hard to commit a set day and time to a gaming session. Considering that other people have lives as busy as my own, D&D has become less of an option. I'll never stop loving it, though. I'll just have to revel in my nostalgia.
Let's take a look at the features of D&D:
gets you started
hundred of dollars on extras
great social game
everyone together can be hard
for hours on end
need hours on end
great way to meet people
probably can't be in your underwear
DMs have sick imaginations
Impact on DDO: D&D brings people into DDO and vice versa. Finish playing a session of D&D with your friends before going home to play DDO with some people in another part of the country. Some negativity will come from comparing D&D to DDO to see how DDO deviates from the core rules. Still, this is a beautiful relationship that most game publishers could only hope for.