DDO – Another Monk

Reading about Syp picking up DDO again, at least for the month of August, made me reinstall the game and fiddle around. That plus I recently found an amazing guide for my favorite class, the Monk. So I skimmed over the Book of Syncletica, mostly to drool over the capabilities that higher level monks get, and then decided to roll up another one.

I took the advice and started from level 1, rather than use Veteran Status to boost higher. What the heck. Maybe I’ll spend August revisiting MMOs I haven’t played in a while, as other bloggers work on getting in a post a day. πŸ™‚

Anyway, after finishing the short tutorial (again, but it’s good for me since I haven’t played in a while), I investigated the crypt in town. Yep, nothing like creepy stuff happening with monsters and odd noises from the crypt – hey do YOU want to investigate what’s going on?? Hehe.

Necromancer
Necromancer

I found out what the problem was. Apparently unknown to the townsfolk, they are being invaded by fish creatures who seek to raise the dead using various altars. Fortunately, I happened by and was able to kill everything and also destroy their equipment, ending this particular threat. πŸ˜‰

Enhancements
Enhancements

Later I was confronted with the new enhancements panel. Whoa that’s a lot of stuff. Good time to break and skim through Syncletica’s book!

DDO – Butcher’s Path

I entered a dungeon/sewer called “The Butcher’s Path”, where the goal was to kill 80 kobolds, survive to the NW exit, and slay Witch Doctor Kneeza.

Not too complicated at all… the fun and challenge comes from the design where packs of kobolds (5+ at a time, often 8 or 10) attack. As a monk, I just kept clicking and using ki attacks when possible, and generally survived each fight slightly beat up.

In this game, unless you drink a potion, find a rest shrine, use a skill, or get healed by another player (I suppose), your health doesn’t come back. So no standing there in between fights (like in Guild Wars) and topping of health! So after battling through a few waves, I was happy to avail myself of the first rest shrine I found… and later, another one. I also drank a few health potions, so I need to visit the store and look into buying more. I’m not sure where to buy more health potions, but I’ll guess they are for sale in the DDO Store (the cash shop, not the in-game merchant you can sell/buy/repair at) since this is a F2P title.

I used the tunnels and corners as much as I could, trying to get the monsters to attack me one at a time. The kobold shamans were problematic, as they cast spells – such as fear, which stopped me from attacking for a few seconds! I quickly learned to target the shamans first, then deal with the rest.

Anyway, I emerged with enough experience points to reach 3rd level, so I went to the monk trainer and selected new class feats (Toughness, Path of Harmonious Balance) and enhancements. Now I can use Void Strike as an attack, which opens up a few more finishing moves. It looks like I don’t get any new feats until level 6, but at least I should be able to select more enhancements along the way.

Unfortunately I have no screenshots of my play this evening – I hit Print Screen a few times, thinking I was getting a few. To my dismay I was using the wrong key – F12 takes screenshots. Argh! Well I won’t forget that and won’t make that mistake again.

DDO – Harbormaster’s Plaza

My monk Aurora is almost level 3… level 2 rank 9 with about 2/3rds the way to go.

Fountain
Fountain

I finished the two quests from the Leaky Dinghy, and moved on up the ramp to the Harbormaster’s Plaza area, featuring the giant fountain above. While mousing over the fountain, I noticed it was “usable”, so I did it… and a list of founding guilds popped up (I think?). Pretty cool to have an in-game monument!

Aurora suffered her first death in the Kobold Twins adventure, given to me by Durk the Deranged. After killing the Witch Doctor Rakhat, I went to loot his chest, and was sprayed to death by an acid trap. Oh well, live and learn… I received a warning about sensing nearby danger, but I didn’t think it would be fatal.

When I reach level 3, I’ll be able to select more enhancement, which will eventually include an elemental path to follow. These are:

  • Way of Air – dexterity bonus, attack speed bonus, constitution penalty
  • Way of Fire – strength bonus, ki generation bonus, wisdom penalty
  • Way of Earth – constitution bonus, armor bonus, resistance bonus, ki generation bonus, dexterity and speed penalty
  • Way of Water – wisdom bonus, dodge bonus, saving throw bonus, strength penalty

Of these, the two most appealing to me are Way of Earth and Way of Water. I’m inherently a defensive, cautious player, so bonuses that enhance defenses, health, and so on are what I like to see. I lean towards the Earth elemental path because that gets so many bonuses!

DDO – Korthos Island

I know I’ve played all this content before, but the nice thing about deja vu is that this time around I can work on the finer points of being a monk. Which is to say, practice (build up muscle memory) for finishing moves. At level 1, it is even easier, because I only have the 4 elemental attacks (earth, air, water, fire) and the 4 finishing moves those lead to. More options come into play later, but for now this is good.

So I’ve been racing around Korthos Island to complete exploration deeds, and plunging into battle without too much planning. Most of the fights (outside at least) are not overwhelming. Besides, in this game, combat works a bit faster.

Korthos View
Korthos View

After clearing out a handful of enemies guarding a mountain peak (“Watchful Vigil” exploration point), I took in the view. Later I wrapped up Korthos Island and adventured to Misery’s Peak, the final dungeon on the island.

Misery's Peak
Misery’s Peak

Misery’s Peak is a fun one, but I think the pacing is off – mostly because it is literally as long as all of the rest of the dungeons on Korthos Island put together! It goes on and on and I think could be roughly 20% – 30% shorter if it cut out one of the sections that has you clear out an area in order to flip two switches so a door rolls open for you to continue. Not to trivialize the content – it is a fun dungeon – but it needs an editor.

In any case, I emerged victorious and sailed away to Stormreach for the next stage of adventure!

Stormreach
Stormreach

After some time passes I may try the dungeons on Korthos Island again, at a higher difficulty level. Finishing a dungeon unlocks a higher difficulty level, and I’m curious if the rewards (xp and loot) are worth a repeat adventure.

DDO – Back Again

After reading a few posts by Skron over at The Frugal Gamer, my interest in DDO was rekindled. To find that it was available via Steam was an extra bonus! I deleted it a few weeks ago, to free up a little space on my computer, but had recently cleared up even more space, so I reinstalled it. And Steam makes that really easy.

About 90 minutes later, I had a fully patched up game. Since it had been a few months since I played, and I wasn’t sure I made good choices with my character, I decided to start anew. The furthest I got was level 3, so it wasn’t like I lost much.

DDO Character Creator
DDO Character Creator

DDO has my favorite character creator. It yields lots of of different looks, and has everything right there on one page: make a change, see the result, with no excessive back and forth to select one section to customize versus another. I also think that showing the selection number between the arrows is great – no more trying to remember if I’d seen that graphic before, I can remember or jot down that I liked hairstyle #15 or whatever.

As far as class to play… I really like the concept of the monk: the unarmed robe-wearing fighter, influenced by Asian martial arts. Their different class mechanics, bonus abilities, and combat capabilities – combinations and finishing moves – make the class irresistible to me.

I dug around the DDO wiki and found a great article on building a monk, so I followed it. This was another reason I wasn’t too reluctant to restart; I don’t think I picked “good” traits and so on the last time around. I can follow this guide and perhaps later when I’m not so lost I can try more customizations.

Destroying Barrels
Destroying Barrels

Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to play, after the install and patch. I did make it through the tutorial, and had some fun destroying barrels.

I do want to actually get somewhere in the game, so the challenge for me will be to play consistently enough to progress. I’ll be plenty busy trying to play this character to full potential while only playing occasionally. On the other hand I’m not in a real hurry… and I can decide about buying the expansion later when I advance along to a reasonable point.

Haitus

Has it really been 10 months since I last posted? I must be lazy since plenty of other MMO bloggers like Syp (BioBreak) or Wilhelm (TAGN) post several times a week.

So I haven’t been playing MMOs recently; instead I’ve been off trying some Indie games (SpaceChem!) and regular RPGs, like Skyrim. However, I feel the lure once again, now I just need to carve out the time. But what games to focus on?

  • LoTRO – still my favorite and after a break I’ll be motivated to proceed to Isengard
  • DDO – I’d like to level my monk a bit more
  • Guild Wars (at this point I’m really just waiting for Guild Wars 2) – I haven’t finished the extra “War in Kryta” content nor have I ventured into most EoTN dungeons
  • Fallen Earth – now it is F2P and I have it installed
  • EVE – a coworker plays this and offered to help me with some in-game cash and help should I reactivate
  • SWTOR – I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan, but I’d like to try this out for a few weeks

Six games I am interested in, and the first four are F2P! That’s sweet and is several hobbies/distractions worth of content no matter how you look at it. I’ve justified two subscriptions to MMOs in the past (reasoning that at $30/month it is a good deal if I can squeeze as little as 5 hours a week of play in), and am tempted to pick up EVE again as my only pay MMO.

EVE is a bit of a surprise because I never expected to return, when I unsubbed back in 2009. It’s a great game but I wasn’t getting too much out of it because I was chronically poor. Now it is tempting because I’d know somebody that also play – my coworker runs his own corp, has sufficient funds (he’s apparently reasonably wealthy in game) and offered to provide me with some in-game cash should I reactivate. This isΒ very tempting because I’d like to train all the exploring skills (and associated stealth “hide me from other players” skills) and give that a try. With some seed money I could buy the skill books I need, buy a decent ship and outfit it, etc.

And that’s why EVE bumps out SWTOR, as far as piquing my interest. If my coworker didn’t play, I’d definitely try SWTOR first. Actually, I still might since I am curious. It would be nice to have a good sci-fi MMO to play rather than just fantasy MMOs.