Dungeons and Dragons Online Review: Maintains P2P Class in F2P Goodness
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is one of the most cherished Role Playing Games of all time. From the dreadful Beholders to the Majestic dragons, who could ever resist the first Role Playing Game that bedazzled the world of gaming? Although Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson managed to hook people with such a display of imagination, could a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) version have the same effect? Dungeons and Dragons has been a around longer than the World of Warcraft and Warhammer universes, giving birth to numerous spin-offs of Tolkien-based characters that appealed to a wide variety of gamers.
The series became overly popular in the gaming meta and is still cherished even up to this point, spawning an array of different stories and clone scenarios like Forgotten Realms and Dragon Lance. The question is, can an old gaming benchmark do well against its established competitors in their own turf?
When I first came into the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO), I can’t help but be overwhelmed with how well they projected the Storytelling game in the visual plane. It’s a very good-looking game in my opinion. The graphics aren’t really that of the nextgen era, but the game did achieve its well-deserved visuals.
After installing the game, the first thing I saw the game’s lack of races. D&D had always been about racial superiority, with special abilities and tactics that are exclusive to each kin. During the character creation interface, I was given the choice to pick between: Humans, Elf, Halfling, Dwarf, Drow and Warforged. I was quite disappointed at how much the game lacked races. If I remember correctly, the original RPG had Half-orcs and Half-elves at our disposal as well. Drows AKA Dark Elves are more or less the banes of the D&D, and much like the legendary Drizzt do’Urden are supposed to be rather antagonistic. Drows also serve as the secret characters in the game, meaning you have to perform certain conditions in order to use them. Warforged—–I am not familiar with. They are basically an array of Tree people and are pretty new in the series. One good part however, is that the game did retain each races’ specialty. This means that each race still has their very own exclusive skills to show.
Where’s the Epic Paladin?
Exactly what is an MMO without character classes? (a whole load of bull). Yes, the game did retain most of its traditional classes namely: Wizard, Sorcerer, Ranger, Rogue, Monk, Fighter, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric and Paladin. There’s a lot of classes to choose from so feel free to try em’ all out. Although most of these classes are retained, the game doesn’t feature prestige classes such as the Blackguard, Epic Paladin, and Archmage. The game already has a lot of classes, so I guess it’s not that big of a deal. But if an asian MMO can provide players with 40 subclasses to choose from, why not, right?
As broad as its ancestor
One of the best features this game has to offer is its broad chatracter creation interface. You can use ‘feats’ which are special enhancements to further separate you from other players, so it’s safe to say that no two players are alike in this game.
You’ll gain more stuff to pump your character up as you progress in the game. Experience points is earned pretty much like any MMO, generally through quests, dungeons and special scenarios in the world map. The game also reserves a favor system that lets you spend another form of currency known as ‘favors’ which grants you special items to further compliment your playstyle.
Combat is perhaps what this game is overly famous for. There are no other MMO that let you experience the basis of combat better than DDO. Even back then during its pen and paper stages, Dungeons and Dragons was always more combat oriented than other pen and paper games. Certain actions such as ‘roll’ and ‘block’ are definitely something you can only find in DDO. The game’s combat system is a combination of the traditional MMO gameplay and the tactical property of the D&D series. I guess you could say that now you can finally enjoy the godlike combat without having to worry about calculating your attacks and modifiers. Another factor to consider would be the terrain advantage, which lets players use obstructions to hide themselves from enemy attacks. In a way, you can’t say that the game is just another basic ‘tank and spank’ application.
Who you gonna call? HIRELINGS!
Hirelings are similar to the mercenaries of Guild wars, which fills up your party with NPCs if you need an extra hand. Is that monk asking for too much? Why bother asking him for help if you can just hire one? LOL.
Formerly Pay to Play
Yes, indeed the game is now FREE TO PLAY! No subscriptions, no extra charges! Just pure nonstop dragon-bashing action! Yes, I’m sure its an indication that it couldn’t keep up with the competition, but hell… an RPG like this in a free to play fashion? What are you waiting for?
Hmm… first of all, the game does lack a lot of features from the book. When it comes to character classes I could say that Lineage 2 did a whole lot better. Having to lose the ability to reach prestige classes really sucked at some point, especially since another game beat the original to it. The graphics are impressive, with nicely rendered characters that bode well with their well shaded background. This makes exploration tad awesome for those who just want to go around admiring the in game scenery. There’s probably nothing more to ask when it comes to the game’s visuals. It’s excellent beyond reasonable doubt. The sounds aren’t too shabby as well, with excellent bgms that’s sure to bring you that epic feeling.
The game copied a lot of elements from other games (particularly other Pay to Play games), but bringing such awesome factors to the world of free to play mania makes this game a savior for F2P players worldwide. The game was populated even in its P2P stage, I’m sure you can see how big of a blessing it is to have this game as F2P. If you’re thinking about playing this game, then by all means GO FOR IT.
– Tons of classes
– Tons of Races
– One of the best Combat systems in the market
– Diverse areas
– Dungeons, Scripted bosses, PVP, and other P2P stuff now on a F2P game.
-Doesn’t follow the original book well.
-It’s too much of a clone for an original game.
-Low endgame content value.