So 12 years in to Dungeons and Dragons Online, and I’m only now playing the anniversary party. To be fair to myself, it’s only a few years old, but still, I feel a little ashamed that I’m literally late to the party. And it’s a good one, at that!
I joined back up with the crew from Onedawesome, the DDO guild that I helped found waaaaay back in the day (and to even more personal shame, I left our weekly sessions whilst they continued it for years and years now). We entered the party tent, where an odd and amusing celebration was underway…
My favorite bit from the central party was seeing classic D&D characters playing D&D and chatting about it. Very meta, but really, this whole quest is a seven-layer cake of meta.
Strahd showed up for the D&D session, but as one of those flat, moving Hogwarts paintings. Again, I could have probably sat there for a half-hour just watching them go through this banter.
But as for our group, we had a mission to perform, and that mission was to beat the living stuffing out of the developers. You see, in this quest, the first four bosses are all Turbine/SSG developers in weird forms. There is also a pit of skeletons with other dev handles, but we were fighting too fast to make a deep connection to each name.
“So Todd, it’s your eight-year anniversary here with the studio, and that means we grant you one wish. What shall it be? Cost of living increase? Dental plan? Four extra days PTO?”
“I’m going to go with ‘make my head into a giant bat boss’ instead. Always been a life dream.”
And if you’ve ever wanted to have a conversation with a door-that’s-not-a-door, welcome to DDO.
I did get a laugh out of the fact that Jeets, that cheeky rogue from the tutorial, returns as the big bad boss who’s trying to become a kobold overlord to impress Malicia. It’s… not the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
And making a guest appearance, the Dementors! Definitely a wicked awesome mob design.
All in all, a great quest — quick, funny, and full of details and conversations for those who want to take their time. I even got a couple of gear upgrades, so now I’m sporting a few more spell points and hit points to keep my sorry gnome butt alive.