I had a hunch that a setpiece as big as Castle Ravenloft wasn’t going to be used for a grand total of one mission in this expansion pack. Lo and behold, I’m back for another trip into this twisty-turny gothic castle as I answer the call to save the son of Ms. People Magazine Most Beautiful NPCs of 2018.
Oof. Some of these models do NOT look that good when you see them frozen like this. This is the sort of visuals I’d expect with EverQuest, but no matter.
Anyway, while the initial goal of this quest is to rescue some idiot who decided to kip inside the castle to try to steal some valuable from Strahd, the interesting twist is that you don’t actually have to rescue him at all. It’s an optional goal, and since the quest was long enough as it is, I decided to leave him rotting in the dungeon. Probably for the best. His mom doesn’t need the distraction.
I keep bumping into really weird people in this castle. Not hostile people, just weird. Like this guy, who’s lounging on a sofa all alone, just waiting for Strahd to notice him. This has been going on for presumably a long time, and yet again do I get the sense that all of these characters are used to the fickle nature of their vampire host and are just trying to wait him out.
Up one tower I had yet to explore was a bunch of black cats (bad) and a couple of witches (worse). Their labels said that they were Strahd’s sisters, so I guess that was an interesting Thanksgiving dinner every year. One vampire, two witch hags, and a dozen black cats. Their mom must be so proud.
It was a brutal fight with the witches, let me tell you. Small room, lots of summons, little space to kite. My fighting style needs a lot of kiting room, because if I get cornered, I go down. I’m starting to worry as I get up in levels that I don’t have the gear or build needed to survive as the game gets tougher. DDO isn’t always clear on that.
While the ending of the quest was pretty dull (I fought two iron golems and got Strahd’s old diary or somesuch), I found a couple of details interesting. A few things had changed in the castle since I had visited last. For example, the wedding cake that I had replaced the groom on top was now smashed on the floor with an invisible monster stomping about it.
And the lady I killed/saved from the blood pool was replaced by two hags bemoaning that fact.
Does this game react to my decisions? I’m not entirely sure, but it kind of seems so. And that’s neat! I wish more MMOs would remember choices and play out the consequences later down the line.