Forum Crowds: Court of Public
I imagine at least some of you could react negatively to this article,
but I am quite comfortable with that.
Frankly, forum threads aren't the
fairest bit of commentary on the planet--nor the most accurate. This is
something anyone should keep in mind. After all, excepting the rules
laid down by forum moderators, you can write anything you want on the
The official Dungeon and Dragons Online (DDO) forums are no exception.
They can be inaccurate, and they are full of opinions--some
of which are presented as fact--that readers must examine carefully.
Plenty of good information about DDO can be found
on the Internet, and many people are fair and
balanced in their views on the DDO forums. But because of the
misinformation and unfair representation of opinion found there, make
sure to read
with a careful eye.
I try to write in such a way (aside from grammatical errors) that my
opinions come across as intelligent, informed, and correct. Note that I
. I could be
providing all sorts of information as long as it is presented
intelligently, but it still could be wrong. Heck, I could purposefully
provide bad information if I wanted. Anyone could do that if the mood
struck. So that it's clear that I'm not trying to present myself as
perfect, here are a couple of examples of some misinformation I put on
the forums accidentally a while ago:
“I think troll regen in ddo is not
prevented by fire damage.
” I was wrong. Fire can prevent troll
regen in DDO.
“Yes, but he's asking about crowd
control, which Chill Touch has nothing to do with.
” I was wrong.
Chill Touch can be used as crowd control with undead.
Now, I try very hard to post correct information on the DDO forums and
in my guides
here at DDO @ Ten Ton Hammer
. I think that, in general, I succeed.
But despite that fact, I occasionally end up passing along incorrect
information on the forums. When I do, I admit my mistake and move on
The point I am trying to make here is that any one forum post cannot be
depended upon to be accurate. Certainly, if you take the time to sift
through the information on the forums, you end up with a semi-accurate
picture of how things work. The key is to read several posts on the
subject. The truth usually lies somewhere in between.
Sometimes the forums come through with solid information, but you have
to pick through the threads to find the best responses. Not too long
ago I was researching spell resistance (SR), and I ended up
- SR does not apply to damage
spells like lightning bolt. This was the consesus of most forum
- SR reduces ½ damage from
damage spells, if successful. This sounds more like the effects
of a reflex save to me.
- DDO SR works like pen-and-paper
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). In D&D, casters must make
a caster check (1d20 + caster level) at least equal to the target's SR
or the spell does not affect the target.
could go along with the majority of forum posters and believe that SR
does not work for damage spells, and that would probably be a safe
decision. On this topic, I got lucky and found a
DDO developer post
that confirmed what most players were saying. In
the process, I learned that CR1 (challenge rating 1) casters on normal
mode are caster level 2. That same CR1 caster on elite difficulty is
caster level 6!
In addition to information of wildly varied accuracy like my scenario
with SR, the forums in DDO are full of opinions. Negative and positive,
everyone finds it necessary to present his opinions of what other
people write. Unfortunately, people too often take these views to be
fact. This problem is compounded when people present their opinions as
fact. Frankly, it drives me up the wall. It's important, in my opinion
(heh), to make sure it's clear that you're presenting an opinion--to
make certain people know what you're saying might be wrong. Commenting
on other people's posts needs to be done fairly also, or your opinion
could end up discrediting someone and spreading misinformation.
Finding the Truth
In general, I suggest a couple guidelines for finding information from
any source, including the official DDO web page:
- First, if using the forums, get a second, third and fourth
opinion. Don't post a question 3 or 4 times on the forums, this just
ends up with one getting the same answers from the same people. You may
not get the same answer twice, but it's probable that the right answer
will be somewhere in there.
- Second, test things yourself. Many Feats and spells can be
checked by making a first level character and just seeing how the thing
you wish to know about works. It is much better to test these things
yourself than to take the opinions of people who may not be so
interested in accuracy as they are participation by commenting on your
- Finally, if you rely on the opinions of other people for
information, then take the time to check other comments they have
written. If someone is gives a lot of opinions, then likely their
comments have been noted and spoken about by others. If you do a quick
check, you can often find out how likely they are to be accurate.
With the inaccurate information found about DDO on the official
forums, people who want good information
end up making poor choices based in misinformation. Ten Ton Hammer,
like most sources of information, can be just as
guilty of inaccuracy as the official DDO website. For our part we try
to correct our erros and let you know about it (Just take a look at
Ralsu's Upon Further Review of Untrained
). Needless to say,
comments in the forums need to taken with more than a grain of salt.