DDO is back in my game rotation, mostly because I’ve been curious how the expansions have changed the game and only slightly because of past feelings for this title. Man, it’s been years since I played, but oh how it comes back in a rush. I think that, for me, it’s always the sounds that reconnect me with games right away. We might not actively notice those noises when we’re playing, but they do wonders in shuttling long-term memories back to short-term. The “dong!” and quest complete noises in DDO especially.
A good half of my session last night centered around making a new character. This is trickier in Shadowfell Conspiracy because you can make insta-level 15s, so I had to figure out a new iconic class, level her up 15 times in a row, and then invest in enhancements. The goal, more or less, was to make a dual-wielding fighter that would dodge everything. I don’t know how well it came out — she did passably in the first quest, but took enough damage that I had to keep chugging pots. I think that next week I might scrap her and make a paladin or something.
A few observations on my return:
- The music in the tavern with Elminster was really cool, and thank goodness for that because I had to listen to it for 45 minutes straight.
- The action and combat is a lot less defined and more “slippery” than I’ve grown used to with more modern games. I mean, yay for action combat I guess, but bad guys kept rubberbanding and sliding all over the place, and I never felt like my blows were connecting.
- There are a lot of features that weren’t there when I was last in DDO: the monster manual, enhancement screen, epic destinies, inventory overhaul, etc.
- I know it’s a heresy to say, but I kind of like just starting in Forgotten Realms for a change and not messing with Eberron. I’ve done Eberron to death; it’s time for a change. And the big blue skies of Faerun were quite welcoming indeed.
- The visual options for the Shadar-kai were really disappointing. Turbine made a big deal during interviews that they’d be so visually cool with scars and piercings, but in truth, you get 6 hairstyles, 4-5 types of scars, and 4-5 types of piercings. Really not that many, all things considered.
- Elminster talks like a renaissance fair dope. “Ye”?
- Hearing the DM do the narration was quite welcome. I really did miss that — I think it does a great job getting me into the story more than text boxes.