I thought about titling this article "How DDO bends you over, screws you hard, and you ask for more!" Too much?
I don't think so.
I've played 80 or so hours in the last week and a half. Yeah, I got a little too into DDO, but I was really trying to put a "pin" in what the heck is going on.
I logged off tonight frustrated. The game simply isn't what it used to be. Before you stop reading, I am not going off on some odd rant again.
Give me a few lines to explain myself.
Natural cap has been reached at level 20. To further progression in DDO, the game has added two things. Epic dungeons, and the ability for True Resurrection.
In 4 and half years of playing DDO, I never capped a character. I liked being in the sweet spot in the upper levels where I could play with people leveling up, or with people capped. Plus, when DDO went into a slump with mods, I kept the last level or so open in front of me as a carrot. I always had something to look forward to with my girls.
Last weekend I capped Rowanheal. Rowanshadow was capped a few weeks before. I now have 2 characters to experience the high end content with.
Before you all start clapping, I teared up when I capped Rowanheal. I am not going to be TRing her. I simply don't have the patience needed to mess around with replaying her story. Her last chapter now revolves around her loot table, regurgitated Epic Dungeons, and short raids.
And I am not the only one. It seems the "cap a toon" flu has been spread equally through out the population.
Not only are most players in a hurry to get to the Epic level, they are playing in ways I can't even enjoy.
My guild needed to pug out a couple of spots in a shroud run the other night. The party leader spent the better part of 10 minutes MYDDOing the applicants, making fun of builds and rejecting those who didn't live up to expectations.
It's not just happened once either.
I simply cannot fathom the schism shattering the player landscape.
Most of the players I've been around are members of some alliance channel. They use it rather than the LFM to fill groups, network and trade.
I had heard whispers players were using myddo to check players out, were abandoning the LFM panel, and were generally becoming insular within their own cliques.
To my own befuddlement, it's all true.
Hey, I am not a huge proponent of PUGing. It's not an aspect of the game I enjoy. I have to admit though, I felt for the people who were being summarily rejected by their build, lack of gear or guild affiliation. It stinks of a level of elitism even I can't embrace.
I've had a chance to play both my healer and my rogue in Epic Dungeons and raids. I remain unimpressed. Epic equals supersized. There is no real need to meet the content with any real surprise or joy. The reused dungeons with massively inflated monsters are simply boring as heck. It's like revisiting your least favorite relative over and over again and hoping they give you a present.
Epic dungeon's drop scrolls, shards and seals used to upgrade items in the game to Epic power. The best part of an Epic chest is the pink token inside. I love the glowing pink shafts of light streaking from inside the chest. It's about the only nice thing I have to say about Epics.
If I thought green steel had ruined the game, Epic loot has taken it one step further.
I had hoped Epic dungeons and loot would offer some kind of balance to an other wise bloated end game in DDO.
Instead I found monsters with insane hit points, blanket immunities and quite possibly the worst loot drop rate in the any game.
I have also been told you either TR, or you run for Epic's if you want to viable as a player.
So either I am going to spend hours rerunning content with a character to garner a few more stat points, or I am going to spend hours grinding for Epic drops.
Either way, the story has come to a grinding halt.
I ran 5 epic raids, and about 15 dungeons between both characters. I managed to get 1 scroll, 2 seals and a shard for an item I don't even have. I don't foresee being able to craft an epic item in the near future. Not unless I decide to play 40 or so hours a week and grind myself into oblivion.
It hasn't all been bad. I've pulled my first +3 tome on my rogue. She promptly ate it. So yummy!
I pulled my first set of spectral gloves. I was excited until I was told they really needed to be Epiced. *sigh*
I also got a flawless red dragon scale, Amara's ring from TOD, and enough plus one tomes to fill my shared bank.
I really want to enjoy DDO again. I want to play with friends and have a fun time battling in Stormreach. What am I missing?
I know I like to play DDO to be social, to play a good story line, to take my girls to the next level. Is the only thing left to me the Epic grind or the TR train?
Is it me? Is my attitude keeping me from finding pleasure in the game? Am I coming at this from the wrong angle?
I can log into EQ2 or LOTRO and solo through a beautiful story while chatting with friends. I can play WoW and grind end game gear in a month.
What is going on in DDO? Where is the story leading? Why the painful grind for end game gear? Why the boring raids that can be completed in an hour or less? Where is the EPIC adventure in all of this?
I have some wonderful guild mates. Several of them I truly enjoy and trust. They are joyful people who spend the time to give to those around them while maintaining an eyeball for their own game goals. I want to catch that disease. The one that keeps people logging in day after day and playing.
I have also been told, not to complain without having suggestions.
So, in that vein, I would like to see some changes to the landscape in DDO.
Epic simply needs to be revisited. It's lack of "Fun factor" cannot be overstressed. Giving a mob more hit points and spell points does not make them Epic, it makes them fatty. The Epic loot table needs to go on a diet as well. I visited the DDO wiki page to look over what's available. It's so huge it makes garnering an Epic item way more trouble than it needs to be. "Epic" levels need to be added to our characters. The PRE's are simply not enough to make up for natural progression.
Lastly, let's add some real raids. This is the only game I have ever played where a "raid" just means you have 12 people instead of six. There isn't any real flagging to a raid, there are no keys, shards, multiple raid groups or true adventure to any of them in the game atm. I've run raids with 40 or so people, taken more than one play session to beat the dungeon and worked really hard to make sure I was useful to the raid groups. We need something in DDO to make all this Epic, TR nonsense useful. Give me something with oomph!
Mostly though, the people in DDO need a reminder this is a game. Stop hating so much. Stop rejecting people. Stop making an ass out of yourself. You are not bad people. Some of you are just behaving badly!
Maya Angelou says "When you know better, you do better." So just do it already.
I am hoping some of you will comment with suggestions of what you would like to see in the game. with what you find enjoyable, and ideas for how I can beef up my game play. Tell me what you are doing and why you like it. We all play for different reason's, with different goals in mind, with different mindsets. Explain yours to me, and maybe I will light on fire for the way you play!