Updated Fri, Feb 13, 2009 by Shayalyn
Let's face it; we live in a gaming era ruled by World of Warcraft (WoW). No other massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG) can boast over 5 million players. And arguably, the secret to WoW's success is the ease with which the game is played. But Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO), released today by Turbine, Inc., is not a WoW clone. In fact, it's not an anything clone; it is very much its own unique game.
Given that, there will probably be a bit of a learning curve for those who venture into Stormreach expecting a garden variety MMOG. Yes, you'll still find quest NPCs conveniently marked. Sure, the game has city maps to help you get from point A to point B. Of course there's a brief tutorial to help you get the hang of wielding a weapon and slinging spells. But, beyond that, don't expect DDO to be “easy.” It's a whole new world.
To help introduce you to this new world, I've assembled a collection of the articles we've published here at DDO Ten Ton Hammer that are geared specifically toward new players. If you'll be stepping into Stormreach for the first time once you finish loading your shiny new copy of DDO, this is the guide to help smooth your way...assuming you've adhered, at least somewhat, to the principle of RTFM (Read the Freakin' Manual).
Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk
Be a Character
Your character's class and race are the
first decisions you'll
make in DDO. You'll want to be informed as you set your character's
points, and choose skills, feats, and spells. Our character creation
guides are great resources to help you make informed choices.
Naughty or Nice? (Well, Not too Naughty...)
You can't be an evil character in DDO for a few of logical reasons: there is no player vs. player combat; evil traits are generally reserved for monsters and other bad guys; and that's the way it's done in the tabletop game, D&D. But even though you can't be truly wicked, you're going to have to select your character's alignment as part of the creation process. Stumped as to what an alignment is and what it means to your character? We've got that covered.
An Order of Newb
Quests to Go, Please!
The only way to gain experience in Dungeons & Dragons Online is through completing quests; there are no killing fields where you can go slaughter nameless vermin to level up. If that thought seems a little daunting, we've got your back, little adventurer! Zed served up this handy guide to the port area of Stormreach, complete with information about the quests you'll be completing as you make your way into Stormreach proper.
You're going to hear it if you haven't already, and you're going to experience it if you haven't played in the DDO beta or head start, so I might as well say it--DDO is a game that requires some twitch skills; good old fashioned manual dexterity for reactive button mashing. If you're not accustomed to playing a twitch-based game on a PC, then you might want to consider setting up a gamepad for DDO. Ralsu wrote the book on that. Well, if not the book, then at least the article. His recommendations for configuring a gamepad will have you twitching away in no time.
There's plenty more to explore on DDO Ten Ton Hammer, but these articles should certainly get you off to a good start. And for more newb-friendly treatment, you might consider joining our Ten Ton Hammer guild on the Sarlona server, where our motto is much the same as your kindergarten teacher's probably was: “There are no stupid questions.” Come join us and let the adventure begin!