Guys, I know we all love loot at the end of a good D&D campaign, but even I have to admit that this might be ridiculous. Oh, I’m going to loot it all anyway, but still…
So there’s this thing that happens in DDO around level 10 or so when the game stops lobbing softballs at you and starts getting mean and tough. Long gone are the days of one-shotting kobolds in sewers and being lightly tickled by dungeon traps.
No, now the game makes even seasoned teams pay attention, because mobs get a whole degree more dangerous and traps can one-shot YOU. Our DDO group’s been working its way through the House D questlines — a first for me — and I’m pretty amazed at how resilient and deadly these pirates are compared to Yarryarr’s crew.
Since all of these quests are in instances, the devs have the luxury of crafting specific set pieces that are more about delivering an experience and a story than letting you free-roam all over the place. In one mission, we had a pirate fortress (of a sort) to assault. It would’ve been really dangerous to hit dead-on, but the astute adventurer might deduce that there’s a secret path behind this waterfall that leads up and down and behind the bad guys.
This demon looks ridiculously happy to see us. Aww, he’s so cute.
In another quest, we explored some steampunk-ish pipe rooms and had, ahem, “fun” with platforming. I mean, who wouldn’t find it fun to be creeping along a pipe, trying not to fall all the way back to the start, when a blast of steam knocks you off anyway?
Seriously, at this exact moment our Rogue says with a straight-face, “Guys, hold up, there might be some traps ahead.” Good to know.
The higher difficulty level has made for a few harrowing healing moments. More than once our entire team got hit by attacks that took everyone’s health down to 1/3 or less, and I’m trying to triage on the fly while I wait for spells to come off cooldown.
Between that, I’m having the time of my life letting my wolf and bear rip up bad guys (my bear seems VERY enthusiastic in this task) while I ping away at the enemy with my heavy repeater. I got a quiver for all of the bolts I’m now collecting, which is an item that I sorely wish I knew existed back with my Artificer.