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How do you folks feel about DDO?

Gamingtodaynews1f - How do you folks feel about DDO?
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I enjoyed the discussion about ESO and GW2 so much, I thought I would start a new one about DDO. I think in some ways DDO is a bit of a hidden gem, though it certainly has its fair share of flaws. After the ESO/GW2 discussion, I found myself playing GW2 and thinking about DDO. In many ways, I think GW2 suffered by comparison.

DDO's biggest positive for me is the vast amount of freedom you have compared to most other MMORPGs. You can mix and match classes almost without restriction. Want to play a bard/sorcerer/barbarian? How about a fighter/rogue/cleric? You also have a lot of interesting races to choose from besides the standard human/elf/dwarf thing.

Another thing I really like is that DDO is the only MMORPG where the character can use their hands for something other than holding a weapon. I can't think of another MMORPG that allows climbing and mantling (hanging from the edge of walls and boxes, etc). I hate games where your mighty warrior can't hop over a two and half foot fence or climb over a six foot wall, it's just silly. Also, they recently added mounts, which is a nice touch.

The combat system to me is a good mix of old and new. You can have as many abilities on your toolbars as you like, and you can make weapon sets in order to switch between ranged and melee, or S&B to two handed. There is blocking and dodging, and there are plenty of items you can use in combat such as potions or thunderstones. You do not get infinite ammo or spell components, which I like, you need to be prepared.

Also, the quests are usually well designed and they play well to the advantages of instancing. If you're soloing, you really feel ownership of the quest you're on, and if you're in a group you can capture a little of that old school tabletop feel.

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Unfortunately, DDO has a fair amount of flaws. Many argue that they use too much instancing and that they should have at least a few open world type areas, and I tend to agree. There's no real PVP or WvW, and the graphics are kind of dated (though I think the game looks fine).

There's not much in the way of cosmetics, as far as I can tell, so people who like dressing up their characters will be disappointed. Crafting is pretty non-traditional, which can be good or bad. I think the system is OK, but it's pretty basic and you can't really make anything other than equipment.

Some of the quests aren't solo friendly, which seems silly to me, given that quests are instanced and have scaling difficulty anyway. I am not a fan of forced grouping, to me grouping should use the carrot rather than the stick, so quests you just can't do without a group annoy me. You can use hirelings for some of these quests, however, so there are ways to sort of work around the group requirement.

Finally, there seem to be frequent network issues, maybe because they're a small company and can't afford proper servers. I have a fiber connection that is quite fast, so I am pretty sure the problem is not on my end. Then again, I am not a network engineer and the internet is complex. 😛

What do you all think? Is GW2 a relic for niche gamers or is it worth another look?

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