Man, I should complain more about long quests in DDO, because as of late I’ve been on a streak of short-to-medium ones that have been a delight. Well, a delight to get done with minimal fuss, at least; most of them seem older and thus lacking in spectacle and story. For example, next up on my list was Dead Predators from House J, a fairly standard wipe-out-everything-in-a-crypt rampage.
The DM really tried to sell a sense of foreboding and terror, but I wasn’t having it with this wee cute dungeon that was brightly lit and contained nothing more than I’ve seen before. Some zombies, some skellies, some ghasts — the usual crew. Pew pew, you’re dead, where’s my reward?
I do want to say that the quest giver for Dead Predators has the most repellent expression on her face, even though I did her a huge favor:
“Ugh. Who farted. Did you fart? Was it me? Why does Game of Thrones have to be over? My Aunt Sally keeps sending me political ads on Facebook and I’ve had it. Also I’m pretty sure the art team copied my face from a turtle’s butt, so there’s that to complain about too.”
While I was in House J, I thought I’d stick around and work on some of the quests in the area. The Night Market was level 14, but hey, I’m 16 now and not afraid of a little normal mode adventure. Or so I hoped!
So DDO certainly has a lot of quests that are pretty much story-lite dungeon crawls, but every so often — especially with newer packs — you get more story-driven quests that involve a lot of unique settings and scripting. I would say that this is one of them, as I roamed around the eponymous market on the prowl for some sort of bad juju that was supposed to go down that night. There’s a lot of atmosphere and touring in this first section, and I really enjoyed the ambiance and lack of a dungeon roof.
Fred the Mind Flayer even makes an appearance, disguised as a regular bar patron. Fred’s kind of one of the unofficial mascots of DDO, a nice monster who’s trying to fit in with the normals. He’s awesome.
Long story short, an evil cult (is there any other kind?) unleashes monsters and a rage plague that turns normal people frothing mad. The whole Night Market erupts in pandemonium, and the remainder of the quest is a frantic run through packed streets trying to restore order and not die. I did die, true, but that’s what I pay my pocket Cleric to cure. Stupid one-shot deaths.
Anyway, it was a great quest that actually felt like going through a D&D encounter, and I really enjoyed it even though it was on the long side.
Once that quest was done, it apparently triggered like three or four new ones in House J that popped up all around me. Sure, I’m game to keep on going, especially if there’s a story arc to experience! Next up was… let’s see… Quarantine. Back into the dense city I went, this time to “subdue” (i.e. kill) citizens enraged by this anger plague while trying to find out a possible cure.
It felt a lot like the Culling of Strathome from World of Warcraft, what with killing innocent (if doomed) citizens in the name of saving the greater good. There were also rage bombs to be avoided, although for the most part this was a very straight-forward run through an urban landscape. I actually really liked the layout here and the tileset. I think I’ve spent far too much time underground in this game, it’s good to see the sky while questing.
In the end, I helped to retrieve some supplies and find out that scorpion venom might be a key in staving off the plague. Go me!