DDO: My First Impressions

DDO[Dungeons & Dragons Online] My Momma always told me that if I couldn’t say anything nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

Therefore, this review is over.

I should stop there, but Momma knows I’m a bit crazy in the head too. So I will continue and try to be nice. Really, I’ll try.

I dragged my computer over to my brother’s place and then loaned him my DDO CDs so he could install the game and use the free 10-day pass they included with the box. This would allow us to learn about the game together, which is usually a good thing.

After he finished the install, we fired up the game to go through the character creation process. He chose a sorcerer and I chose a fighter. Once in the game, the video crashed on me. It made my screen look like a thousand little screens. No lockups, but I could not do anything. Reboot, turn down the graphics in game, screen freaks out again. Repeat a few more times. This is odd, because it worked fine at my house the day before. Reseating the video card was of no help.

Two hours after I get to his house, we have yet to play more than a few minutes. I crank the graphics way down, and it seems to finally hang together. Keep in mind, I have a Pentium 4 3.2 GHz machine with 1GB of RAM and a 6800GT video card. It is not a crappy machine. (UPDATE: It looks like my card is failing in all 3d games, not related to DDO specifically.)

We played through the tutorial and arrived on the first main area. We played through a few quests together and had a few moments of fun. Mostly, we struggled with the clunkiness of this game. My hand was killing me from all the damn clicking. Double click on NPC to get a quest, click click click to go through the conversation and accept the quest. Double click on the door to enter the dungeon. Double click on the lever to open the next door. Click on the box to smash it. Click on the coins to pick them up. Monster attacks, click to swing. Click to swing. Click to swing. Click to swing. And so on and so forth. Damn my hand hurt.

It was enough to make us take a break and go get some dinner.

While eating, we talked about how DDO makes us want to play another MMO. Any other MMO. It just seems like nothing works the way it should. The combat, which I had thought would be interesting, was just a mad click fest. Maybe some people like this, I do not.

The monsters are not supposed to be able to run through us, so I was standing in the doorway to protect my brother, but the spiders would go right on past me to attack him.

The GUI was a pain. We spent about 30 minutes trying to tweak it, but I don’t think it really got any better. I tried using mouselook, but pressing T all the time so I can click on things really sucked. And by then I was really tired of clicking on things.

The lag in the city and the taverns was really bad. Rubber banding happened on occasion, some leftover curse from the Turbine engine which I suffered through in Asheron’s Call 2 for too long. Really, is it that hard to fix these things? I guess I have learned to expect a little more from a new MMORPG these days. At least the basics need to be of the highest quality.

The content was enjoyable, even though one of the first quests we did together was filled with all sorts of fun things like “destroy 60 Sarcophagus” and “find 4 thingamajigs” and “kill 10 rats”. So they take a bunch of boring WoW quests and lump them together in a dungeon. At least they did have some interesting traps and such, but even then they were sort of obvious.

I walked into one room and the door closed behind me. There was a lever. I open the lever and the door on the other side of the room opened. I go through that door and see another lever. That lever opened the first door so my brother could come in. I don’t know how I figured that one out, so tricky.

The “Looking For Group” system looked good. You can go into your quests and actually click on a LFG button for that quest. Pretty cool, if it works. I did not try it yet.

All in all we were not impressed. My brother is not planning to buy and I’m not planning to play past my free month. We will try to play some more before his 10 days are up, and I’ll try to get some time in after that, but it really does not look good. I’m quite disappointed.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

12 thoughts on “DDO: My First Impressions”

  1. I am semi courious to see, but I’m just now getting in to EVE, so I dont think Ill be making the jump :)

  2. Ethic,

    Sounds like it hasnt changed much since the beta. Including the video problems. Uhg. Sad that the one shot at one of the grandfather franchises of RPG got fucked so bad.


    Oh if you are in EVE now, you will be making A LOT OF FUCKING JUMPS. :)

  3. Why did EVE grow?… I’ve been makin jumps and its been a blast :)

  4. Interesting. I agree the game is still somewhat buggy, but your thoughts on gameplay are exactly opposite of mine. I enjoy the fact that it’s not another “go into attack mode and grab a drink” game. As far as an excessive amount of clicking, I haven’t noticed that there’s any more clicking in this game than, say, EQ2. Except in combat, where I agree it tends to get crazy. That’s why I play a caster. :)

    Your technical issues also surprised me, given that my system is roughly the same as yours, right down to the 6800GT. I had none of these problems, and routinely play the game at the highest resolution.

    It’s definitely a game that is going to keep you, or make you want to play something else. It’s very different from the normal fare, very much an acquired taste.

  5. ftw = “For the win”
    And what I wanted to say: EVE – in contrast to most other MMOGs – is so complex (not so much in the sense of “complicated”), that one can easily spend a year without having been seen or tried out everything.

    Yes, I am an EVE fanboi, sorry (not)

  6. Just curious: How about the crafting system and the market implementation?
    (I think, there won’t be a free trial soon – to be able to try it our myself)

  7. There is no crafting. I’m not sure there is any market system either, short of selling stuff to an NPC.

    There is also no housing.

  8. DDO is a singleplayer game that charges you monthly. There so many D&D singleplayer RPGs that allow you to play with a group of friends online for free and they are 100x better. Like Baldurs gates, NWN, etc.

  9. What I want to know, is did you play so much your fingers bled? When is someone going to start taking the “professional” game reviewers to task? Best game ever my ass!

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