DDO: Static Style

Last night was the first night of the Massively DDO static night, officially called “Massively’s Nights of Eberron”. I’ve always said that I’d love to play DDO in a static group so I rolled up a Cleric the night before and then logged in last night. I expected maybe 15 or 20 people to show up. I’d guess it was closer to 50, including some famous folks like Psychochild and Green Armadillo. Syp would have been there but instead he was off doing something important like “welcoming a new baby into the world”. Yeah, whatever dude. Seriously though, congratulations!

The first thing that confused me is that we all were on Korthos but some of us had snow and some had sun. We had to all get to the sunny version which meant we had to sail to Stormreach and then back to Korthos. At this point we tried to form groups of 5 to do some quests. I invited one person and we stood around waiting for others to express interest. Eventually we got a group of 4 together, 1 Cleric and 3 Rogues. Off we went with voice chat enabled.

Luckily we had a veteran in the group that was more than willing to explain things to us as we went and since nobody was in a rush we spent a lot of time talking about things that may happen and how best to deal with it. We would run through a dungeon on normal to learn it, then on hard and finally on elite. I did my best to keep the group healed and only had a group wipe once (but it was after we dropped down to 3 people). Like all great healers, I alone survived and killed the guy that killed the rogues and then waited for them to return.

After 2 hours of play, we all hit level 2 and I went off to make a bunch of mistakes on my character – I am sure. If nothing else, DDO is confusing. I spent some time looking at Cleric guides and found it interesting how much different advice there is out there. So much that it almost paralyzes you from making any choices at all.

My final thoughts from last night are: I had a lot of fun and I’m fairly positive I don’t like playing a Cleric. I might have to roll something else up during the week and get to level 2. I’m thinking maybe a straight up fighter or even going all out and paying to play a Monk. Monk is probably too complicated for a beginner and since I am a beginner I only get to start with 28 points instead of the preferred 32 points. That is a topic for another rant. I look forward to next week.

– 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.

33 thoughts on “DDO: Static Style”

  1. Two words: Favored Soul. If this was an SAT test, “Sorcerer is to Wizard as Favored Soul is to Cleric.” You get tons of spellpoints and a more martial bent; you’re a great healer and a competent damage dealer.

    As for the confusion bit, my suggestion is to just use one of their pre-built packages. When you ding, you can just say ‘give me the next bit’, and they’ll give you the good stuff. Spending action points is dicier, but I find that as long as I focus on spells, spell points, and damage output I usually do okay.

  2. That’s another one of them pay to play classes but I thought about it. It sounds like I’d enjoy it more than Cleric but I’m not positive I’m down with the whole healing bit. I may just subscribe for a month or two so I can play with the premium classes.

  3. Very cool. Wish I could’ve made it, but Tuesday is… taken for gaming and Wednesday night is our LOST night.

    I think that there is voice chat is pretty crucial to doing huge activities like this. I am glad that Turbine games have it.

    1. DDO’s voice chat is really solid. It’s basically like having automatic Ventrilo. I’d compare it to WoW’s voice chat, which is sufficiently terrible that almost nobody uses it. In DDO, basically everybody at least listens to voice chat, and if you want to lead something, you’re expected to have a mic.

  4. Curious to see how many people make it past level 4, as that has always been the breaking point in DDO for me and anyone I’ve played it with, and not just because that’s when the options of a free account get really limited.

    1. The content is not so limited after level 4 as it used to be. Yes, you can’t get all the quests right off the bat, but it doesn’t take long to earn enough DDO points to get a guess pass. Even without a guess pass you can get really high level, if not max, on free quests (but it is easier with those guest passes).

  5. More people might stay because of the grouping but some will probably drop. I hit 4 before and stopped. But the idea of actually having a group is awesome, someone who subscribes should make us a guild though.

    So 2nd level and sunny side is where we need to be next week?

    1. There is a guild, it is called OnedAwesome. 2nd level and sunny side would be a good bet, but 1st level will do as well.

  6. Heh, I got drafted into a group and we just kind of grabbed people instead of being polite. We were all mostly newbies from the sound of it (although I’ve played a lot of pen and paper D&D).

    My experience was much different. We pretty much mobbed the instance, slaughtering things and leaving destruction in our wake. We didn’t even have a cleric in the group. It was kind of fun in that “get swept up in the moment” type thing, but I don’t think I really came away understanding the game much better. :)

    As for characters, try a Fighter or Barbarian. My Barbarian character was pretty potent last night it seemed. You get a big axe to fight with in the tutorial, so it’s easy to do a ton of damage. Fighters have a lot of nice options, too, and aren’t always the stereotypical “tank” types.

    Anyway, assuming I don’t have to go into work with my murderous commute next Wednesday, I’ll be back. Might try a new character if there are enough new people at level 1 for fun.

    P.S. Congrats Syp! :)

    1. The veteran in our group announced that even though he has a level 20, he has never once been in a group before. I found that somewhat telling.

  7. With the right character class, you can level up to 20. Monks and Favored Souls are an Advanced Class. You need to plan them out carefully, because it could be real easy to gimp yourself. Both also have really high stat requirements too.
    Barbs are nice and fun. Rangers are great, but don’t get all caughtup in the whole Ranged RAnger thing. Range unti the critters get close and whop out your melee weapons.
    I will see if I can find a good link for starter character builds for you guys.

    1. I enjoy my Ranger and I agree with your advice to Range until it gets close. In a group rangers shine (from my limited experience). Massive distance to pull creatures which are normally half dead before they get back to your group.

      Barbarians are nice and you can make them to be a pure tank, a pure damage dealer, or something in-between.

      There are so many options in this game just keep playing till you find something that fits your style!

  8. The veteran player in my group last night had a dual class build going and basically steamrolled the dungeons for us, solving, charming, disarming, and/or killing whatever came our way.

    While we still had fun, it was not the experience I’d have chosen for someone new to DDO. While I have played before (only to level 6, so nowhere near an expert), my friend had only ever played her Cleric through the opening tutorial and did not have much time to learn her abilities in a group before we had completed the instances. She got to level 2 and still felt a bit lost.

    I can see where something like this could discourage someone rather than hooking them on learning the gameplay, so I’ll try to make sure they are involved in the dungeons, especially early on. Asking if they’d like to try the puzzle in the Storehouse rather than just solving it myself, for instance.

    Sounds like you had a very good group, Ethic. Can we borrow your vet player for next Wednesday? :)

    1. I think it would be a good idea for next week to form groups based on experience and desired play style. My groups will *hopefully* always be on the slow, explore the dungeon style. I want to let Rogues do their thing and I want everyone to learn about their characters as we go. Never too busy to stop and discuss things.

      1. Ethic –

        First off, I was your 3rd Rogue (that dropped early), so hello again! I think you did a fine job healing while I was there, as no one died. ;D

        And I agree, I think that grouping people up by experience and playstyle would be helpful, and certainly a little more planning for classes might help as well. (I’m not sure how important group makeup is in this game)

        I think we went a little faster than I would have liked, but I didn’t care too much, as I had done these before. What got me was that we kept repeating the same dungeon, on harder levels. Is that normal?

        I’ll probably end up switching to another class, we have a lot of rogues in the guild as it is.

        1. Howdy!

          As for repeating dungeons I am not sure, but it seems like that is what is intended. It does at least allow for you to get all the rewards instead of just one. I’m not sure I care for this plan as it does seem kind of odd to me. Sort of takes you out of the “make believe” a little bit.

          I’m not sure, but it might be that some of the rogues are going to multi-class. It seems fairly common to get a level or 2 of rogue in before going elsewhere. One of our rogues was actually a cleric after level 2.

          I’m all for slowing things down next time, even though it did not feel too rushed last night.

          1. It’s been a while since I played but I seem to recall that you got the maximum Turbine Points (for spending in their Online Store) by completing Dungeons on the Elite setting. It was something like you got 1 point for Easy, 3 for Normal, 5 for Hard, and 7 for Elite, or something like that.

            That doesn’t mean you could get 16 points for doing a Dungeon 4 times, once on each setting. If you did it on Easy then Normal you’d get 1 point from the Easy Run then 2 points for the Normal Run, but if you skipped Easy and just did it on Normal you’d get 3 points. Doing it on Hard (after a Normal Run) would net you 2 more points, with the final 2 points (for 7 total) coming from the Elite Run.

  9. If you are interested in playing any kind of caster, the Drow essentially gets access to 32 point builds due to their OP stat bonuses. I think they get +2 o three different stats, and -2 to one, which lets them hit high levels in several stats a lot more inexpensively than most races could. Drow is fairly cheap in the DDO store.

  10. Drow start with
    STR 8
    Dex 10
    Con 6
    Int 10
    Wis 8
    CHR 10
    then they can distribute the remaining 28 points.
    They make great Rogues, Sorcerers, Wizards, Favored Souls, Clerics and Bards.
    If one is new to the game, I highly recommend NOT multiclassing, and just stay “pure” until they get used to the game.

  11. Ethic,

    Hello I am Samius of ddocast.com and ddococktailhour.com Welcome to Ddo:EU.

    It is an exciting time to be a ddo player, welcome to Stormreach Before you leave the cleric class I would like to offer some build tips and play advice.
    You didn’t say anything about Race or starting stats. I don’t know if that is because you took a path or what, but let me give you a basic starting package.
    Dwarf 28 pt build

    str 14
    dex 12
    con 16
    int 10
    wis 16
    chr 6
    Skills max concentration and balance (I know it might sound strange but trust me on this one.)
    your one feat extend spell
    Spells: Summon monster 1 is your friend as well as bless for the start of the game.

    Now I don’t know your play style but if you think “I am a fighter that can heal” you will do well for the first few levels. Get used to healing people via the Fkeys to target them and always take care of your hp first.

    I think you will find that the clr is a good class with a little play.

    If you have questions feel free to email me, my info is on those webpages.


  12. As a long time DDO player, there is a little piece of advice I give to new players… whether they are new to the game or just the quest itself.

    It is important to ask the party leader to slow down and explain what is happening in a quest if you don’t understand what is going on. That is the only way to learn.

    That said, some players just want to run through a quest as fast as possible and may say no. In that case, you can either ride their coat tails or find another group that is willing to help you learn the quest.

    On a side note, the normal/hard/elite options for adventures serve two purposes. First, they give harder options available for those who feel the quest is too easy. VIPs have the option of opening quests on both normal and hard. Second, they expand the available XP pool at any given level. You receive a first time XP bonus for the first time you complete each different difficulty (+25% for normal, +25% for hard, and +50% for elite).

    Does this mean you have to do all three difficulties on the quest in a row? Not at all… come back to the quest next level and try it on a harder difficulty then! Or never come back to it. Your decision.

    In any case, it is nice to hear people enjoying the game. I’ve been enjoying it since 2006. Welcome!

  13. I’m really glad I popped over here to check out the replies. Ravious, thanks a ton for posting this.

    Honestly, I would have preferred a slower and more organized pace, because there were quite a few new people — they needed a less frenzied introduction to the game.

    Unfortunately, with tells coming in right and left for guild invites, guild chat going a mile a minute, and Syp out of the picture for the evening, my head was spinning. It was pretty much impossible to organize beyond what I did, so that was kind of my fault there.

    Hopefully we can plan on a less crazed time next week, and based on this and the replies on today’s column, I’ll make sure to do my cat-herding with that goal in mind. Thanks for all the feedback!

    1. I don’t think anyone was at fault (unless, of course, you want to point fingers at that Sypina kid ;) ). Chaos happens. Especially when you have a large crowd that probably covered the whole spectrum of DDO knowledge.

      I like the idea of trying to tailor the groups based on goals and experience. Maybe a few of the more knowledgeable among us could volunteer to help the newbies (both to the game itself and to a particular class) with some tips and information. We promise not to flood them with questions…maybe.

      Between how and Wednesday I’ll be checking out some of the build info posted above. Maybe I’ll even figure out what I was doing wro…

      …hey, wait. Did you call us a herd of cats? Nevermind, you were right. It was your fault. :P

  14. Another thing about the multiple levels of difficulty on the quests is Favor. The tougher the difficutly, the more Favor you earn. Hit your P button (Patron) It will show you how much Favor you have earned by House/ Group. Favor is a DDO’s Faction system. Higher Favor unlocks various things in game. 75 Favor in Coin Lords unlock the all important Extra Bag Space.
    Another bonus for Favor is every 100 Favor nets you 25 Turbine Points to spend in the Turbine Store. I think those who start new chartacters on a server start to gain Favor sooner (like 10, 25, 50, and then every 100 after that) It is a good way to start saving those TP’s and maybe unlock an adventure pack or open 32 point builds.
    400 Over all Favor unlocks the Drow race.

    1. And I believe it’s 1500 overall favor gives server access to 32 pt builds. So yes elite modes are very important to do.

      Thanks to Pchild, Amana, and a few others that were in my group last night, we had 4 barbarians, a wizard, and myself playing a rouge, that’s why everything went so quickly haha!

      I don’t know if I’ll be leading next time, but if you guys want to join up again definitely let me know!

      1. Haha we sure did burn through the runs pretty fast! :-o

        But it was a ton of fun, with a great bunch of people in our group. I’d be happy to submit to your leadership again should you care to join us next week ;)

        Thanks to the posters above for all the added info, too. Good to know.


        1. Wednesday was very fun indeed but I’m still wet behind the ears. I really like my ranger so I guess I’ll be sticking to her instead of re-rolling a spell class. I’ll be off and on before next week trying to get a better grasp on the game so I could be a bigger help to my group next time, but you guys are right we pretty much slaughtered everything.

  15. I wanted to clear something up for those people that might be interested in joining us next time. The term “static group” in the classic sense means a set group of people playing together on a regular basis. That term does not really apply to this “static group” event. The way this is working, is that there is a larger group of folks that are going to play at a static time and form small groups. So they time is static but the specific individuals in the groups are not.

    It is not, by any means, too late to join up with us next Wednesday.

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