When I play MMOs — or most video games, really — one of the biggest things that I chase and desire is story. I want a good tale. I want to witness, or better yet be involved with, a great story. It’s why I’ve always gushed about Secret World and its storytelling chops, and it’s why a memorable gaming session can be made in an instant when a good story appears. It’s also why Dungeons and Dragons Online is just amazing me this year, because it’s a chain of stories that seem to keep getting better the more I progress.
This past week I moved into House Phiarlan to quest, and during the course of seven days, I recruited a giant into a theater troupe, infiltrated a high society club, chased a rascal across the rooftops, and visited a devil-infested circus.
Yeah. I’m swimming in story. Oh, and I got this:
I have never been so proud of myself.
Some of these quests have been incredibly long, but really, I didn’t mind as long as there was something interesting to look at and do. And there was almost always something interesting to look at and do. Like this hologram of the now-extinct Elf race.
Another thing I’ve been doing is using hireling contracts for missions. I haven’t felt a huge need for them before, but after failing the giant quest right at the end of 45 minutes of tasks, I briefly saw red for a moment and then acknowledged that I could use a little backup on these outings.
This cracked me up. This one house has bathrooms with actual toilets (weird toilets, them), and the toilet paper holders are mini shrines that are fully functional. Because where else would you rest than on the john?
Oh yeah, and I fought a magical monster made of crates, barrels, and a chest that I desperately wanted to loot. This rooftop mission was so much fun, start to finish. Really wanted to see this annoying NPC and his magical wand meet a bitter end, and I was not disappointed.
Oh HECK yes. I am totally there!
The circus was wonderfully plotted all the way through, with disguised tieflings taking on the roles of strongmen, magicians, and even doggie trainers. Lots of sight and verbal gags if you took your time and didn’t rush into battle.
Maybe I’m obsessed with bathrooms in MMOs? Maybe I am.
Nothing like fighting a mind-controlling succubus under the big top to keep life interesting. Felt a little bad for the good guys I had to kill while they were under her spell, but there was no way around it.
One detail in the circus that I thought was hilarious is that I came across these “magician’s barrels” with swords sticking through them. Turns out that the “assistants” inside are actually zombies that don’t really mind getting skewered by pointy things. Ta da!