dungeons and dragons online

game name: Dungeons and Dragons Online

cost: Free/Subscription

free trial: Unlimited freeness. Freetastic.

download size: ~200-400mb for an initial streaming client that will stream all 4GB of the game, or you can grab all 4GB.

download type: direct download, p2p app, or streaming patcher.

combat style: Soft-targeting, where you have to actually aim, block, roll/dodge, sneak, with some hard targeting for spell casters. Excellent twitch-style combat, although with the d20 calculating it all in the corner. You don’t regenerate health over time, and will need to plan for usage of HP pots often, as well as strategize around areas in the dungeon with a rest shrine.

pvp style: You can go into the “taverns” and fight people in a room to the side, but that’s it. This is a PvE game, like D&D itself.

pve style: The style of this game reminds me of Guild Wars, with the persistent towns and instanced outdoor areas/dungeons. Infact, that’s a pretty good comparison. You can even get Henchmen Hirelings to help you on missions, which is a nice touch. Each instance has a difficulty level that you can choose, from Casual all the way up to Raid.

XP is not gained from mobs in this game, however, it is only rewarded for completing dungeons, or meeting pre-set milestone goals in the outdoor areas. This can be annoying if you say, try out something solo and screw up, or have to leave the game mid-dungeon for Real Life, and end up losing the progress you’ve made in that dungeon. That’s probably what pissed me off about the game, all of my lost effort. At least in other games, I can at least console myself after death with the fact that I did get closer to leveling.

standout features: D&D character building with multiclassing, the twitch combat, excellent free2play item model (buy content not wins), and nicely designed content with voiceover work in some areas.

grind level: Max level is 20, but it can take you a long time to get there if you play dungeons solo on lower difficulties. Grouping greatly increases the leveling rate, but each level does take a good bit of time.

f2p item shop: You can buy trash items only, the good stuff is also in game, but the meat and potatoes is that the most elaborate dungeons and quests all cost some cash. The game gives you free money over time, however, and you can buy an extra dungeon here and there with only that. The shop does sell tomes that allow you to add to stats though, giving you a different “32” point builds instead of the normal “28”. It is designed around making money by buying or renting the content (via subscription). One of the best free play models in existence.

still installed: yes

still subscribed: I went VIP for about two months before dialing it back to play Fallen Earth at the time.

still playing: every so often, but generally only with friends if they want to play, or if I get tired of other MMOs. I hate losing progress when I don’t have a lot of time to play in the first place.

total time played: x-fire says 111 hours, and I believe that. Even so, I only have a level 6 and a level 4 character.

current level in-game: highest character is level 6, a pure Fighter

screenshots: http://www.xfire.com/profile/sgamer/screenshots/ddo/

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