Dungeons and Dragons Online went to a free to play model this past
September, re-titling itself as Dungeons & Dragons Online:
Eberron Unlimited, and there's little doubt in anyone's mind now that
it was the right move. The game went from an aging AAA title supporting
a small but loyal fan base to a genuine blockbuster once again.
Like all other classes within DDOU, you can customize your character any way you choose to (within the rules), but the majority of players will be happy to find the developers have included three pre-built paths for the Favored Soul: Angel of Vengeance, Beacon of Hope, and Divine Avenger. Since I was a man on a mission (and wanted to wield two weapons), I went with the Divine Avenger build.
Have you ever played a Paladin, but wished you had a bigger spell pool? Maybe you've played a Cleric and been bummed out by their meager melee combat abilities. What about playing a Sorcerer, but wishing you had some decent armor? Well I have and let me tell you; the Divine Avenger path for the Favored Soul grants all those wishes and then some. I was kicking epic proportions of ass within minutes of entering the game. As I continued to climb in both levels and ranks, the ass kicking kept intensifying. There were times I felt overwhelmed by the mobs I was facing, but by casting a few quick heals in the heat of combat (be sure to keep your Concentration skill maxed out), I was right back in the thick of it. The Divine Avenger build will turn you into a killing machine that would make Drizzt Do'Urden weep with envy, thus making the Favored Soul one of the best soloing classes in the game.
Don't let this make you think the class is a one-trick pony, though. The other builds (including any of your own design) can turn the Favored Soul into a far different breed than the one I played. If soloing isn't your cup of tea, choose the Beacon of Hope path. Diving into a dungeon by yourself with this build will bring you numerous and painful (though most likely, interesting) deaths. Play with a group though, and those players are going to be worshipping you like a Greek god of old because no one (and I do mean *no one*) in the game can touch you when it comes to your ability to keep a party buffed and healed, not even the almighty healing class, the Cleric.
Neither build quite fit your style? How about trying the Angel of Vengeance on for size then? Imagine a living God of War descending upon the earth and decimating everything in its path. That's you in a nutshell. You'll still get the benefit of having a few healing abilities, but you'll spend most of your time raining death and destruction upon your foes with the force and conviction of a holy warrior. As you plow through most mobs with ease and keep the attention of those who won't go down quickly, the power of the divine will flow through your bones and cleanse the wicked. Your defensive abilities will suffer some in comparison to the other builds, but if you're in a party with a healer, your group will be virtually unstoppable.
All this is well and good, but it still doesn't answer the question of whether or not the Favored Soul class is worth the cost of purchase. At the time of this writing, the class goes for 795 points (approximately $13). Depending on how you build your character, it can be one of the greatest soloers or *the* greatest healer in the game. You can also customize it to fit somewhere in between. That kind of flexibility alone makes this class worth the money. The fact that it's a seriously cool class that looks sweet too is just icing on the cake. Personally, I think the Favored Soul is an absolute blast to play and well worth the money.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that you can't just pop into the game, open the DDO Store, and purchase the class itself. Instead, you'll need to log in and purchase Turbine Points with which to buy it. So, since the Favored Soul costs 795 Turbine Points, your lowest cost option is to purchase three 300-point packs (a total of 900) for $15.00. You can also opt for the 1200-point pack for $19.50. No matter which way you go, you're going to have points left over. On the plus side, there is an interesting selection of other things you can pick up for your characters in the store as well.
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited is in the process of experiencing its own renaissance and you can be a part of that. How you choose to do so is completely your business. If you've been eyeballing the Favored Soul class as an option and have wondered how it played and whether it's worth the cost, you can rest assured that the class kicks some serious ass and is a ton of fun to play. If not, you still owe it to yourself to download the game for free and check it out yourself!