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Dungeons & Dragons Online: Unlimited Examined

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood takes a look at Turbine's DDO: Unlimited, the Free 2 Play rebirth of the company's Dungeons and Dragons MMO.


No major North American studio has tried to switch a game's business model years after launch. Turbine, recently,moved Dungeons and Dragons Online in that direction, pioneering a movement that, if successful, could have a lasting impact on an MMO industry that has already shown more openness to the item shop model.

Time and time again industry experts have said that in order for an item shop game to be successful, it has to be applied in the right way, to the right game. Is Turbine the right company? Is the system well implemented? Does the item shop unbalance the game? Is DDO, a game conceived as a subscription MMO, the right game to make this transition? Is now the time to be making the move? These and other questions need to be answered before anyone can judge such a controversial change.

Read Unlimited Examined

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • takayitakayi HelsinkiPosts: 158Member

    FIRST!



    It is offcourse very nice news to hear, that DDO is free, which encourages more and more people to try it.

    It is still wiser to pay the subscription, because without paying it feels like youre in wheelchair; you cant do all the stuff, that others can!



    We'll see how this goes, and DDO is quite "non-hyped" game, and theres not many people who even know the whole game. We'll see in the future, is this really worth putting to F2P, or will the player count stay the same.

    image

  • StratfordStratford Riverside, CAPosts: 112Member

    I know it's not a PvP-centric game, but is there *any* form of PvP to mix up the gameplay and keep it interesting when you want a break from PvE'ing?

  • Dave08Dave08 Greensboro, NCPosts: 67Member
    Originally posted by Stratford


    I know it's not a PvP-centric game, but is there *any* form of PvP to mix up the gameplay and keep it interesting when you want a break from PvE'ing?



     

    There is some pvp, but it's token only.  They'll never balance the game for pvp.   Players who have played for years have access to 32 point builds and limitless gear and plat, so it's highly unbalanced.   

    In my opinion, it's a sad game anyway because if you want a good character, they make you grind on a throwaway character first.  You don't grind to make the character you're playing better, you grind to build a brand new character with 32 points.  Then you start over from scratch and repeat the same content over and over on the new improved character (aka pure timesink  before you can even work on a character that you'll feel isn't throwaway). 

    Really a lousy game mechanic and waste of time if you like pvp or just want to feel like the character you're working on means anything.  A shame in a way because it's a fun dungeon crawl.  Just not an immersive rpg.  Who wants to work on a character when they know it's worthless, and trust me, it isn't worth grinding for a 32 point build for the pvp that is currently available.

  • moorewrmoorewr Largo, FLPosts: 72Member

     Dave08 is right that there isn't much PVP. That said DDO:U is launchign with a challenge system, and there is both brawling and team games. Not a lot of people play 'em though.

    He is wrong, however about 32 point characters. The difference is so small that you can not tell whether a given char is 28 or 32pt. We're talking at most 2 points in a major class stat. What's more, you will have favor for drow, who are 32pt builds within a week or two, so why sweat it?

  • hirschahirscha SydneyPosts: 1Member
    Originally posted by moorewr


     Dave08 is right that there isn't much PVP. That said DDO:U is launchign with a challenge system, and there is both brawling and team games. Not a lot of people play 'em though.
    He is wrong, however about 32 point characters. The difference is so small that you can not tell whether a given char is 28 or 32pt. We're talking at most 2 points in a major class stat. What's more, you will have favor for drow, who are 32pt builds within a week or two, so why sweat it?



     

    As a current DDO player, playing since about a week after launch, I currently still have my original 28point character.

    Yes the extra build points would've been nice, but seeing as how anyone can purchase Drow in the DDO store you wouldn't need to grind your so called throwaway toon, and as Moorewr mentioned, it is very hard to pick a 28 point toon as opposed to a 32 point toon.

    In the end making DDO F2P will allow people to try the game and see what they think without the fear of paying for something they don't like.  Guess we'll all see what happens when it's released in August

  • dalestaines1dalestaines1 Omega, GAPosts: 107Member

    This game has very dedicated players and they will most likely continue to pay their subscription fee.

    This lets others in on the fun and I believe that it will work out.  It is surely an interesting concept and they are getting much press about this transformation. 

    image

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,053Member Uncommon

    One of big problems of DDO is that lot of playerbase has powerplayer mindset. Unfortunately the same thing plagues D&D 3.5 pen and paper game too.

    So what if you have 28 point character ?

    You are only slightly weaker...

    But no! Its all about min maxing perfect munchkin build ....

     

    I just hope that the input of fresh players will bring some more relaxed playerbase.

     

    As for game balance and item shop:

     

    Its bit pricey ...

    But you can play without buying anything.

     

    Problem is , the game is so good - and you will get hooked ;)

     

     

     

    image

  • BleakmageBleakmage Plattsburgh, NYPosts: 174Member

    I was into roleplaying my character. I had a Warforged Bard, and I could give a crap less if that was probably one of the shittiest builds you could make. But for me, it was about the fun of roleplaying the character, not powerleveling or supreme PvP skills. I look forward to August 4. Maybe I'll stick around now that I can afford to play. I think the buy what you need as you go is much more economical than $15 a month whether I feel like playing or not.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bleakmage


    I was into roleplaying my character. I had a Warforged Bard, and I could give a crap less if that was probably one of the shittiest builds you could make. But for me, it was about the fun of roleplaying the character, not powerleveling or supreme PvP skills. I look forward to August 4. Maybe I'll stick around now that I can afford to play. I think the buy what you need as you go is much more economical than $15 a month whether I feel like playing or not.

     

    Yeah. I'm playing DDO for more than 1,5 year now, and I think the same. I don't need to min-max anything to have fun. And now, if I don't have enough money to spend on VIP sub, I can easily play for free. This is nothing short of genius development idea.

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • Dave08Dave08 Greensboro, NCPosts: 67Member
    Originally posted by hirscha

    Originally posted by moorewr


     Dave08 is right that there isn't much PVP. That said DDO:U is launchign with a challenge system, and there is both brawling and team games. Not a lot of people play 'em though.
    He is wrong, however about 32 point characters. The difference is so small that you can not tell whether a given char is 28 or 32pt. We're talking at most 2 points in a major class stat. What's more, you will have favor for drow, who are 32pt builds within a week or two, so why sweat it?



     

    As a current DDO player, playing since about a week after launch, I currently still have my original 28point character.

    Yes the extra build points would've been nice, but seeing as how anyone can purchase Drow in the DDO store you wouldn't need to grind your so called throwaway toon, and as Moorewr mentioned, it is very hard to pick a 28 point toon as opposed to a 32 point toon.

    In the end making DDO F2P will allow people to try the game and see what they think without the fear of paying for something they don't like.  Guess we'll all see what happens when it's released in August

    I agree F2P is a good idea for DDO.  I wasn't saying it isn't.   Given the bad mechanic, I just wouldn't want to invest in a character in it as I do other games.  I would play it occasionally as an F2P if I'm in a dungeon crawl mode.  It's a great dungeon crawl.

    The question I was answering was about pvp, and in my experience, pvp players like to get the most out of their characters, and they just can't with the mechanic in place.   Drow is good for some classes, but it's not the best for every class, and I was rather tired of everyone running around as drow anyway when I left.  Who plays a game just to play one class till they get enough favor to be able to ditch that class for another?  They'd have been better off not to offer the 32 point builds or to offer it, BUT also let you upgrade your current character to 32 points.  Regardless, the limited pvp they have is not worth the effort of spending the time needed for a competitive pvp build.  Player skill is always most important in PVP, but you still don't like to start off on a character in the hole in core stats.  

    When I left, the prevalent thought wasn't about content at all.   It was:

    Play drow, whether you wanted to or not (and it is not the same as a 32 point build because of the stat distribution with drow).

    Build a cleric so you can get 1750 favor, then you can create the character you really want to play,

    Just play knowing your character will never be all it could be.  

    I was a founder, although I took breaks quite often.   I enjoyed playing my characters (not one, several) with friends and was in a great guild.  Then they introduced 32 point builds and all of my characters that I'd spent time on were inherently less than they were.   A few of my friends still play occasionally, but most of us left gradually.  I wasn't a power gamer or in a race.   I took my time because I enjoyed building up my characer as I've done with most MMO's enjoying the steady progression.  And suddenly, my characters were meh...  The worst part being that I couldn't just keep enjoying the game as I had anticipating getting the 32 point build on my characters.  I had to anticipate getting it so I could reroll and start over if I wanted to take advantage of the reward.  Just the concept made it no longer fun.  I was no longer steadily building my character.  Now I was just wasting my time till I could get a new character. 

    With F2P, I'll likely play it some again because it's a good game, great for being free.  I can see picking it up whenever I'm in the mood for a dungeon crawl.  However, as a person who feels an attachment to my characters, it's not a game I'll ever invest in again.    

     

  • tommyd1013tommyd1013 Plymouth, PAPosts: 2Member

      I still have and play the second character i ever made. I've been playing since beta and this toon was created ruffly a week or so after launch. He is a 28 point build and he hangs with all those that are 32 point builds and in some cases does better than them.

     If you scrap your original because he is a 28 point build then that's not the game that's you just being foolish. I admit i don't pvp that often but I have never been big on PvP in any game I play, but one I do jump into the pvp i do fairly well.

     PvP will never be a center piece in ddo because it goes against what the pnp game was about. And the classes in the PnP as much as in the mmo don't balance out for pvp, and were never meant to.

     For the record I am not a powergamer or an elitest i play the game because it's a good game. The game has grown alot since launch and while I can't predict what the future holds for it me and My little 28 point human wizard will be hanging around looking forward to the next adventure.

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member

    Well, regarding the review itself, I think it was pretty accurate and balanced.

    As for the comments:

    @ PvP: DDO is not PvP based -- period. Get over it. If you live and thrive for PvP, find another game. I Don't mean to be a doosh, but I'm getting fed up with so many ppl complaining about DDO's weak PvP when it's in game just for lulz. The reason is simple: D&D was not designed to be PvP, so classes are (mostly) PvE balanced with no regard to PvP -- because it was never meant to be that way.

    @ 32-point vs. 28-pt builds: it's a moot point -- even for min/maxers. It all boils down to player skill and  abilities. I have several 32-point capped toons and my trusty, original 28-point build sorc. Even in end-game elite raids my sorc stands his ground and (due to high UMD) has been the main party healer when the poor cleric got clobbered. I've taken my 32-pts to the same missions and there's absolutely zero difference. Not easier, not better performance, nothing. The only minor difference between 28 and 32 is the couple points you can put on INT for more skill points -- but, IMO, it ain't that big difference.

    In the end, the main reason I quit this game a few months ago was first and foremost Turbine asinine secretive practices and secondly because the community, in general,  became very toxic and obnoxious. Even though I had a good number of close in-game friends, the high number of elitist a-holes simply made playing the game a chore rather than having fun. I certainly not the kind of person who pays to *not* have fun. My only hope right now is that there's an influx of good, team-oriented players that will dilute the bunch of dooshes that have "taken over" because of desertic player population.

     

    Peace.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by toord


    Well, regarding the review itself, I think it was pretty accurate and balanced.
    As for the comments:
    @ PvP: DDO is not PvP based -- period. Get over it. If you live and thrive for PvP, find another game. I Don't mean to be a doosh, but I'm getting fed up with so many ppl complaining about DDO's weak PvP when it's in game just for lulz. The reason is simple: D&D was not designed to be PvP, so classes are (mostly) PvE balanced with no regard to PvP -- because it was never meant to be that way.
    @ 32-point vs. 28-pt builds: it's a moot point -- even for min/maxers. It all boils down to player skill and  abilities. I have several 32-point capped toons and my trusty, original 28-point build sorc. Even in end-game elite raids my sorc stands his ground and (due to high UMD) has been the main party healer when the poor cleric got clobbered. I've taken my 32-pts to the same missions and there's absolutely zero difference. Not easier, not better performance, nothing. The only minor difference between 28 and 32 is the couple points you can put on INT for more skill points -- but, IMO, it ain't that big difference.
    In the end, the main reason I quit this game a few months ago was first and foremost Turbine asinine secretive practices and secondly because the community, in general,  became very toxic and obnoxious. Even though I had a good number of close in-game friends, the high number of elitist a-holes simply made playing the game a chore rather than having fun. I certainly not the kind of person who pays to *not* have fun. My only hope right now is that there's an influx of good, team-oriented players that will dilute the bunch of dooshes that have "taken over" because of desertic player population.
     
    Peace.

     

    Great post, though maybe too emotionally negative in some places, but you explained why and I respect that.

    1. Yes, D&D Online will never be PvP -oriented. Get over it. But, if you like combat in general, even as a PvP fan you can enjoy DDO:U very much. There's just no better combat / movement / skill / build system. Freedom of what you can do to develop a "mature" max level character is unmatched - if it was more complex, it could be too much, but it's not. Great balance.

    And I will say it again - PvP can be balanced in DDO if you play in teams. Teams can balance each other pretty good. So of course, PvP won't be a PvP-oriented game ever, but Turbine already expanded it adding new "challenge system" with 2 absolutely great arenas. I wish that UI for it will be easier, faster and more intuitive, and that they'll add more PvP features. Because as D&D Pen & Paper veteran, I know D&D ruleset is all about options. I'd like to be able to PvP more and even better, because it's possible and then DDO:U would gather even more players.

    PvP-adventures would be a great fit for some competitive challenge in DDO - in D&D spirit, and innovative again. Even if they were just expanded from current Capture the Flag PvP.

    2. We need to show new people how we play - be open, friendly and helpful. I know that when poeple see us veterans behaving that way, they will learn it and generally play that way. I create groups for newcommers only on beta. Just to move slowly, have fun, answer their questions, etc. They tend to say they are amazed with DDO if they play with a friendly and respectful leader. We're the founding fathers here, and we show newbies how to play this game - so come back and help . I think you'd be glad you did toord.

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • jbjtkbw00jbjtkbw00 Orlando, FLPosts: 3Member

    You know, I've been playing this game since Alpha and have seen so much change over the years. I waited for this game because I remember playing DnD back in 7th grade on PnP and loved it.  I said if I was going to pay for an MMO, it was going to be one based on DnD (have never played WoW and don't think I ever will).

    Bottom line is I LIKE the way it is and think these changes are very welcome indeed. I'm not a power player and solo quite often.  If I need help to complete a quest, I ask for players to join and make a few friends along the way.  I STILL talk to people from my original guild outside of this game.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here and will continue to do so.  The changes have just made it even more fun for me to play and I don't mind jumping in if someone needs a body for a quest/raid.  I'm still playing my original 28 pt Half-Elven Ranger and she rocks.  Not the most powerful, but you become that powerful, where's the fun and the challenge?  The ingame shop just helps you when you need that boost to continue long after your daughter has gone to bed and you've run out of Dr. Pepper, but MUST complete this story arc.

    Some people are just not going to like the game either because of the lack of community or because on some level, they're comparing it to WoW (whether intentionally or not). That's just the way it is.  To me, this game has evolved into a very enjoyable experience for all level of players and retains a lot of what true DnD is albeit in the Eberron campaign.

    The free factor is perfect to introduce newcomers to the world of DnD as an MMO.  If you like it, subscribe and take full advantage of what's to offer.  However, if you just think it's ok, play for free and pay for items that you might like for the time that you do.  Brilliant. 

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member
    Sarr

     

    Sarr,

    @ Mentoring: At one point in time (before I left) me and one of the guilds I used to belong to were "hosting" newbie nights 3 times a week. Both as a way to help newbies with plat and gear and also to teach them ho to play. Our plan, however, had a fatal flaw in that we assumed there would be newbies for us to group with. Most, if not all of the low level people were re-rolls.

    @PvP: this is the problem they would have to spend the little resources they have in creating a brand new balancing system. As it is right now, I can guarantee you that no group could ever beat a group of, say,  6 WF sorcs OR 6 FvS's. Spam energy drain, spam delayed fireball. Presto!

     

    Peace.

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    I think a lot of people will be willing to give the cash shop model a fair shake. However, it really comes down to pricing. Pricing is everything. If a casual can enjoy the game with maybe $5/month spent and someone playing hardcore can escape in the $15/month range, the formula could be golden.

    If people find it's actually more expensive than it would have been just paying a subscription, it's going to face some problems.

    Micro-transactions should mean just that. If the shop were to try to sell a single healing potion for $1, or something like that, it won't work.

    I do like that you can earn cash shop currency ingame, even if it's a slow process. That's something that's missing from too many games using this business model.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • Wind-breakerWind-breaker St. Charles, ILPosts: 23Member

    Prospective players should be wary.  This is a game that has gone 3 1/2 years without attracting a player base,, there are bug and lag issues galore (many of which have been present since launch), new players will be at a very substantial disadvantage  for equipment versus a vet,  and Turbine has not been historically honest on issues like release dates and game changes.  

    If DDO goes AC2. you will have lost your time and whatever real life money you spent in the Turbine Store.

  • grandpagamergrandpagamer Perrydice, IAPosts: 2,221Member

    Its an experiment. Turbine is dipping itst feet into the FTP stream to test the waters. DDO has never had a big player base and if the water is cold it stil has LOTRO to fall back on while it regroups and starts or continues down a new path. Ive been hoping for a better MMO set in the D&D world for years, perhaps the results of this experiment will tell Turbine which way the wind is blowing.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wind-breaker


    Prospective players should be wary.  This is a game that has gone 3 1/2 years without attracting a player base,, there are bug and lag issues galore (many of which have been present since launch), new players will be at a very substantial disadvantage  for equipment versus a vet,  and Turbine has not been historically honest on issues like release dates and game changes.  
    If DDO goes AC2. you will have lost your time and whatever real life money you spent in the Turbine Store.

     

    You can't be more wrong. There was no lie or dishonesty. Plans may change, and not all devs know everything about where the game is going. They never lied about Mod 9 or the delay it had too. This is just popular misinterpretation, but it won't make it true ever.

    Release dates have nothing to do with honesty - they change as development encounters problems, or needs to resign from doing something because issues arising make it too long work and too few advantages. So deadlines change, plans change, priorities change. Get used to it, it's not only DDO devs.

    Without attracting? Wrong again. This game never had any form of advertisement after launch. It was even hard to stumble upon in e-stores, let alone normal shops with games. Most people, MMO players, never knew about DDO and its qualities. Yet, it had a VERY dedicated player base, big part of which helped Turbine win The Escapist's "March Mayhem" against big MMO labels, two years in a row. That means something. Most other games which weren't advertised just vanished or closed with a boom. But not DDO. Think about it.

    I play DDO beta and I can honestly tell you that this game will be a huge success. It is now on beta, most people are newcomers - not rerolls too. If you're not playing this beta, you don't have idea what you talk about. You can be as negative as you want, but will face seeing huge numbers of people playing and liking this game. It's already seen on General Chat (now public) and in person with those new people. Very few say DDO sucks - in fact, I've never seen anyone being so negative in beta. And there are thousands of people invited.

    Not only that, but devs make new content and patches almost each week. Or sometimes even more frequently. And when you think about the fact that quality content (quests) = more money for Turbine, it's becoming clear that they will do a lot of that (like now or even faster) and that they will try to do the best possible content for their clients. No one will buy a crappy dungeon, especially that getting guest pass will let you... Try before you buy.

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • CenthanCenthan Toms River, NJPosts: 483Member

    One line in the article just bugged me and is one of the main reasons I will never seriously play a F2P game.

    "Non-paying members populate the world, which makes the game more fun for everyone and thus encourages more item shop use."

    I couldn't disagree more.  In any subscription based game that I've played, when there was any kind of free trials going on, that's when there seemed to be the most trouble from a**hats.  Decent players have enough trouble as it is in P2P games.  I can't imagine how it's going to be now.  Oh well, good luck to all the current DDO players.

     

     

  • Wind-breakerWind-breaker St. Charles, ILPosts: 23Member
    Originally posted by Sarr

    Originally posted by Wind-breaker


    Prospective players should be wary.  This is a game that has gone 3 1/2 years without attracting a player base,, there are bug and lag issues galore (many of which have been present since launch), new players will be at a very substantial disadvantage  for equipment versus a vet,  and Turbine has not been historically honest on issues like release dates and game changes.  
    If DDO goes AC2. you will have lost your time and whatever real life money you spent in the Turbine Store.

     

    You can't be more wrong. There was no lie or dishonesty. Plans may change, and not all devs know everything about where the game is going. They never lied about Mod 9 or the delay it had too. This is just popular misinterpretation, but it won't make it true ever.

    Release dates have nothing to do with honesty - they change as development encounters problems, or needs to resign from doing something because issues arising make it too long work and too few advantages. So deadlines change, plans change, priorities change. Get used to it, it's not only DDO devs.

    Without attracting? Wrong again. This game never had any form of advertisement after launch. It was even hard to stumble upon in e-stores, let alone normal shops with games. Most people, MMO players, never knew about DDO and its qualities. Yet, it had a VERY dedicated player base, big part of which helped Turbine win The Escapist's "March Mayhem" against big MMO labels, two years in a row. That means something. Most other games which weren't advertised just vanished or closed with a boom. But not DDO. Think about it.

    I play DDO beta and I can honestly tell you that this game will be a huge success. It is now on beta, most people are newcomers - not rerolls too. If you're not playing this beta, you don't have idea what you talk about. You can be as negative as you want, but will face seeing huge numbers of people playing and liking this game. It's already seen on General Chat (now public) and in person with those new people. Very few say DDO sucks - in fact, I've never seen anyone being so negative in beta. And there are thousands of people invited.

    Not only that, but devs make new content and patches almost each week. Or sometimes even more frequently. And when you think about the fact that quality content (quests) = more money for Turbine, it's becoming clear that they will do a lot of that (like now or even faster) and that they will try to do the best possible content for their clients. No one will buy a crappy dungeon, especially that getting guest pass will let you... Try before you buy.



     

    You don't like negative comments about your game, huh.  Too bad we aren't on the DDO forums; you could use the player rating system to have me moderated to quash all dissent.  Since we are on a neutral site, I suppose you will just have to respond to my arguments.

    If there was no deception, why did Turbine tell players the FtP expert hire they made last year was for some different project.  Why did Turbine first represent the level cap increase would take place about November with mod 8.  Why did they cut off the weekly development activities thread, the sole line of communication with players.  When they released the steaming pile of Mod 8, they indicated that mod 9 with the level cap increase would take place around the third year anniversery, which was late February, but the game still won't have the update until August.  Consider that the devs had already had a preview on the Lamania server before they announced Eberron Unlimited.  In fact, mod 9 was actually on the Mournelands server around Thanksgiving 2008.  Consider also that Free to Play was in development for quite some time.  When the devs were representing a November or Anniversery release, the y had must have had a pretty good idea when the mod woould actually release; nevertheless, they still were representing soon(tm).  Consider there is no real reason not to release already developed content, except for making the "Free to Play" release bigger.  This constitutes deception in my book, motivated by the desire to keep vets in game during 10 months of no new content.  

    You indicate you played DDO beta and you think it will be a huge success.  You may have liked it, but your post suggest you are a current player.  I am not suprised you liked it, as your continued patronage of Turbine shows you have come to peace with their actions.  I would not consider DDO's existing population huge by any means, as it is estimated to be about 40K, which may be overstating things.  I've previewed War and AoC, both of which are noted for their declining populations; however, their servers seemed packed in comparison.  Again, as an existing player, I can see why you would want to paint a rosy picture; misery loves company.  However, contrary to your suggestion that everyone loves the beta, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190806, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190653,, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190490 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190418 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190356 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=188603  http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190902

    The game has previously had one server merger, and even so it has been difficult to get groups in game even during prime time.  It will be harder for a new player who is low level and lacks knowledge of the game mechanics.    If the beta server had a bigger than normal population, I would suggest that is probably due to the fact that population of five live servers full of content starved people were logging onto a preview server that featured the first new content since November 2008.  No one really knows how many people will play DDO: Show me the Money, as that event hasn't happened yet.  

    And then there is the March Mayham contest.  Of their opponents the the Escapist contest, how many of them actively sought to get their players to vote.  Turbine featured developer alert posts on the front page drumming up voters, countless player drafted threads encouraging people vote, and developers who linked the release of news about mod 9 to continued success in the threads.  Nintendo didn't go to any such lengths in their match with Turbine; they probably had never heard of the Escapist magazine.  If you think that Turbine is actually a better developer than Nintendo, Valve, and Bethesda, I will say no more, as you are off your meds.  It is a measure of Turbine's smallness that they went to such lengths to win a contest from an internet magazine most people have never heard of.

    Again, if people want to try it out, more power to them.  However, they should know the track record of the company that produces the game.  The following statements are facts: (1) Turbine previously shut down a game within a month of a paid expansion (AC2);  DDO has steadily lost players in the three and one half years since release, and the number of live NA servers has declined from 13 to 5; and (3) Since March 2008, Turbine has added to DDO only 5 outdoor explorer areas, 4 high level missions and two short 12 man raids. 

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member

    Wind-breaker > Sarr > Wind-Breaker

     

    Wind, you are absolutely right. Sarr does sound like a fanboi of the game. If you read my post, I vehemently detest all the smoking mirrors Turbine has put in front of players. I could not disagree the more with their stupid social practices and the way they with hush ANY criticism and disent. I hate what they've done with the forums ... it's like High School cafeteria politics all over again. Missed and missed deadlines in the past. Buggy releases and so forth. I really, really loved (past tense) the game and spent hundreds of hours playing it; but in the end I could not keep giving Turbine my hard-earned money. They're not worth it and they're the one's in charge of the game.

    I have played (and play) several MMOs and I have to say I've never seen a developer shoot themselves in the foot so badly as the DDO team has. Also, I've never seen any other game where they try SO hard to keep the player base in the dark -- quite the opposite every self-respecting developer (in fact, the LOTRO team as well) is wide open with their players. They bring the community as a whole in, not push it out. They make the game a collaborative effort, so to speak, with the community. Not so in DDO. The people at the helm of that game, IMO, are in complete disconnect with the community and the player base. And the DDO team hand picks who they want to listen to (which, of course, is largely made of forum sychophantic fanbois).

     

    So yeah ... the LAG is unbearable at times -- not a minor nuissance, it's terrible and hundreds of raids fail because of it. Elitism of the player base is unbearable (which I can assure you will make your in-game life as a newbie very much a displeasure) and of course the ever-present problem of monsters playing by their own rules (Beholders, Air Ellies and so forth).

     

    In short, I loved that game, hated and still hate the DDO dev team. And before you get too excited end-game is the biggest grind in MMO history (even with the 4-5 new high-level quests). I mean ... running the same stupid raids 100+ times (no joking at all about this).

     

    Peace.

     

    EDIT: I just checked all your links because I haven't been on the forums lately and this thread speaks volumes:

    forums.ddo.com/showthread.php

  • AstralglideAstralglide Simi Valley, CAPosts: 686Member

    Well, thanks in part to the op, I will be trying the game

    A witty saying proves nothing.
    -Voltaire

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,762Member Uncommon

    A sad day, one which is being painted as a grand adventure which actually throws D&D ethos to the dogs.



    “Time and time again industry experts have said that in order for an item shop game to be successful, it has to be applied in the right way, to the right game.”

    This is a formula for the transistion to F2P(RMT) never being said to have failed. If a company tries a move to F2P and it fails, pundits will say the transistion was not done in the ‘right way’ or at the ‘right time’. Will we actually see the before and after revenue figures? I am sure this will be called a ‘success’ by Turbine whatever happens otherwise.



    “There are those who feel that any kind of RMT shop in a game will horribly upset the balance, no matter how subtly that cash shop is introduced.”

    How can anyone argue that a cash shop will not throw balance to the wind? We have had arguments on here (which I do not except) that those who can spend more time unblance the game. But no one to my knowledge has pretended that a cash shop of the type described will not totally unblance the game.



    The only way the F2P players will be good for the game is if they pay, which will generate some revenue. Like another poster said, F2P’s tend to be the worst online gamers I have met too.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wind-breaker

    Originally posted by Sarr



    You can't be more wrong. There was no lie or dishonesty. Plans may change, and not all devs know everything about where the game is going. They never lied about Mod 9 or the delay it had too. This is just popular misinterpretation, but it won't make it true ever.
    Release dates have nothing to do with honesty - they change as development encounters problems, or needs to resign from doing something because issues arising make it too long work and too few advantages. So deadlines change, plans change, priorities change. Get used to it, it's not only DDO devs.
    Without attracting? Wrong again. This game never had any form of advertisement after launch. It was even hard to stumble upon in e-stores, let alone normal shops with games. Most people, MMO players, never knew about DDO and its qualities. Yet, it had a VERY dedicated player base, big part of which helped Turbine win The Escapist's "March Mayhem" against big MMO labels, two years in a row. That means something. Most other games which weren't advertised just vanished or closed with a boom. But not DDO. Think about it.
    I play DDO beta and I can honestly tell you that this game will be a huge success. It is now on beta, most people are newcomers - not rerolls too. If you're not playing this beta, you don't have idea what you talk about. You can be as negative as you want, but will face seeing huge numbers of people playing and liking this game. It's already seen on General Chat (now public) and in person with those new people. Very few say DDO sucks - in fact, I've never seen anyone being so negative in beta. And there are thousands of people invited.
    Not only that, but devs make new content and patches almost each week. Or sometimes even more frequently. And when you think about the fact that quality content (quests) = more money for Turbine, it's becoming clear that they will do a lot of that (like now or even faster) and that they will try to do the best possible content for their clients. No one will buy a crappy dungeon, especially that getting guest pass will let you... Try before you buy.



     

    You don't like negative comments about your game, huh.  Too bad we aren't on the DDO forums; you could use the player rating system to have me moderated to quash all dissent.  Since we are on a neutral site, I suppose you will just have to respond to my arguments.

    First of all, I'm not a "fanboy", so if you don't want to insult 25 years old mature person, please re-evaluate your opinion.

    Of course I will respond. I don't see any bad thing about negative opinions about - DDO I have plenty of them too ; ). It's not possible to like everything. So I will gladly respond to your points, I never though you could think different - I don't respond to childish insults only.

     

    If there was no deception, why did Turbine tell players the FtP expert hire they made last year was for some different project. 

    Because they couldn't tell us that DDO is going to F2P model. If they did, it would mean total riot on forums, because it's not possible to exactly explain new, original F2P-Hybrid system without TONS of doom posts. They wanted us to play it.

    So why they told us it's for different project?
    Because is WAS different project : ). One project was old DDO game, getting Mod 7 and Mod 8 with Korthos etc, and one was this new hybrid F2P they worked on for about a year. It was explained.

    Other than that, if Turbine revealed their plans so long ago, some other company might come and do it first. This was all for good DDO: U title. See that hype now - tons of press, etc. It was the best they could do for this game to be succesful.

    Why did Turbine first represent the level cap increase would take place about November with mod 8. 

    As I said, deadlines change. Do you think they "lied" to you about Mod 8's level cap increase purosedly? That's a conspiracy theory, but reality in most companies is that way: "it's out when it's done". But where did you get that info from, Mod 8 with level cap at 20?? I gues I never heard anything official like that, and I follow news and interviews... Please lend me a link, so we can talk about facts. Now it looks like some gossip you believed in.

    Why did they cut off the weekly development activities thread, the sole line of communication with players.

    WDA being line of communication with players? I don't get it. WDA was to inform players what Turbine staff is working on. And they were working on... DDO F2P. If they runned WDA like before, it would be pointless anyway - most info would not get into it. Or else "big news" for DDO would be spoiled globally. This could mean DDO:U being a failure once it's "old news", as press hype is the best advertisement.

    Not only that. Communications is arguable better now. Just look on beta forums. Devs communicate with players very often - not only Tolero and Tarrant, but Phax, Eladrin, MadFloyd, Error 404, Patience, Keeper, even Fernando writes once in a while. This is communication. WDA was just "hey, see what we're woking on".

    Whole concept of WDA is pointless from Dev perspective, I'm afraid. You can try to ignore it, but please look from both ways. It was impossible to have it forever. Very convenient, but also: spoiling and unreliable. Spoiling, because there's no suprise and people talked about "half-developed ideas" and whined about it, proclaimed doom about it etc, while real implementation and real experience could be totally different, making those previous discussions useless. Just emotional and useless. Remember how often something from WDA wasn't implemented in real patch? That's normal. I happens all the time in MMO companies - some idea proved too expensive and not working like it was looking on paper, or it was useless, or there was some other reason to resign or delay some idea.

    On paper WDA "new feature" could look like that: "Creating mutli-tiered, skill based crafting". In reality, it could mean that's only thing they can do if they worked whole month only on that. Why? There can be many frequent reasons: becaue of some hard to find and replicate bug (let alone fix it), because it turned to be too time consuming and we have some more important things to do that also cause problems, etc.

    And what was the result of removing something from WDA? Doom posts, whines, threats, fights, etc.

      When they released the steaming pile of Mod 8, they indicated that mod 9 with the level cap increase would take place around the third year anniversery, which was late February, but the game still won't have the update until August.  Consider that the devs had already had a preview on the Lamania server before they announced Eberron Unlimited.  In fact, mod 9 was actually on the Mournelands server around Thanksgiving 2008.  Consider also that Free to Play was in development for quite some time.  When the devs were representing a November or Anniversery release, the y had must have had a pretty good idea when the mod woould actually release; nevertheless, they still were representing soon(tm).  Consider there is no real reason not to release already developed content, except for making the "Free to Play" release bigger.  This constitutes deception in my book, motivated by the desire to keep vets in game during 10 months of no new content.

    You assume Vets are children not able to decide for themselves? Solution is simple, they miss release date, you can unsub and hate them. Take note that I played during some of that time - but not all! I was frustrated too and unsubbed because of that. So they didn't get my money. But, from my perspective, it's possible that they were thinking about releasing Mod 9 like it's going to be released on DDO: Europe. Without F2P system. And much smaller compared to the state of it now. Add to that licensing process with Atari, Hasbro etc. and it's possible.

    But even if they wanted us to play... and pay them. What would you expect from company making money on you? Charity behaviors? "We're going to delay release for about 6, feel free to go away and make us bankrupt!". Man, do you really think it's possible for any developer? I don't.

    And I'm not upset bacause:

    1. I refused to play, as I was bored and didn't want to pay them for nothing.

    2. I understand this is money-making company. I never expect money making company to care for my own purse, that's my job. They won't tell anything which can destroy their business ever. That's absolutely normal, happens all the time everywhere... So I am the person who cares for my money, not them. Complaining "hey, but I payed you all the time and I feel cheated on! :(" is pretty childish, don't you think? If you didn't believe them, you should go from DDO like I did. And I am called a fanboy now? 

    You indicate you played DDO beta and you think it will be a huge success.  You may have liked it, but your post suggest you are a current player.  I am not suprised you liked it, as your continued patronage of Turbine shows you have come to peace with their actions.  I would not consider DDO's existing population huge by any means, as it is estimated to be about 40K, which may be overstating things.  I've previewed War and AoC, both of which are noted for their declining populations; however, their servers seemed packed in comparison.  Again, as an existing player, I can see why you would want to paint a rosy picture; misery loves company.  However, contrary to your suggestion that everyone loves the beta, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190806, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190653,, http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190490 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190418 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190356 http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=188603  http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=190902

    Listen, it's obvious that NOT EVERYONE LIKE BETA . It's not possible, so I though I'd go on mature way and say I get an impression (subjcetive but honest) that most NEW people are loving it. That's my impression. There's lots of contrary discussions, especially on forums, but what I see is groups with new players which love DDO system. This means a lot. I frequently help newcomers, I have some characters of low level which play only with newcomers or at least mostly. I talk to them, I help them, I speak truth to them if they ask questions with hope for something that isn't there. But they get over it generally, especially lack of PvP. Not always of course. There's not black & white, there are different shades of grey as always. But my own humble opinion is that new DDO:U will be a hit population-wise. You can have different opinion, you're entitled to it - but I play since begining of beta. Before it I didn't play for some time, as I didn't want to "pay for delay", hehe.

    The game has previously had one server merger, and even so it has been difficult to get groups in game even during prime time.  It will be harder for a new player who is low level and lacks knowledge of the game mechanics.    If the beta server had a bigger than normal population, I would suggest that is probably due to the fact that population of five live servers full of content starved people were logging onto a preview server that featured the first new content since November 2008.  No one really knows how many people will play DDO: Show me the Money, as that event hasn't happened yet.  

    Sure, I agree with you here. Though this is not DDO: Show me the Money, in my opinion as a beta tester. Also, if you read reviews of it on various sites (TenTonHammer, Massively, MMORPG.COM here, ZEN, etc.) you could see similar opinons to my. In fact, this system may mean most players will pay less, and some won't pay a broken penny. But sheer number of people plus old vets like me paying subs (if I want to - there will be periods when I'm in F2P model for sure, I'm not rich) + F2P people paying how much they want may be enough for Turbine to get more money.

    Why do I think there will be much more players than before? Simple. Good amounts of press create hype over the net. Reviews tend to be very possitive. And those reviews are completely indenpendent, on different portals, so it makes them more reliable. And heck, this is F2P. No trial ever was offering so much of any game to date. There's just no firm reason why one would not to try this game now. Sub costing $14,99 was like a firewall - not everyone felt like downloading the client, trying for some days and then paying those hard $. And downloading to play for those 10 or 14 days may not look very attractive as well. Now, being able to play forever without paying, and getting level 20 (it's really nothing hard for F2P player) IS much more attractive :).

    You probably know as good as me that most MMO players out there never played DDO. This may change, as it's very easy now for them. Surely some of those people will stay, which IMHO means many more players. Especially at lower levels - most crucial for newcomer experience, right?

    Does this seem reasonable and logical opinion now? I'm not a "fanboy" who says "yes, I'm right because I'm right". No, I can be wrong, but I have subjective opinion based on facts. You can have different, but please don't call me a fanboy. I can argument my opinion always, otherwise I don't have an opinion .

    And then there is the March Mayham contest.  Of their opponents the the Escapist contest, how many of them actively sought to get their players to vote.  Turbine featured developer alert posts on the front page drumming up voters, countless player drafted threads encouraging people vote, and developers who linked the release of news about mod 9 to continued success in the threads.  Nintendo didn't go to any such lengths in their match with Turbine; they probably had never heard of the Escapist magazine.  If you think that Turbine is actually a better developer than Nintendo, Valve, and Bethesda, I will say no more, as you are off your meds.  It is a measure of Turbine's smallness that they went to such lengths to win a contest from an internet magazine most people have never heard of.

    People never heard of The Escapist? :) Look at their site. They have many video features and editors working for them, so they must sustain themselves from advertisments - traffic. So I wouldn't be so sure of that "no one part".

    Every other company could rally their players. Relic did - every new round, they've posted in on forums main page and homepage. People look there frequently, they just didn't care so much or weren't numerous enough to compete.

    And as you said, there were many palyer-driven thread on DDO forums. This means DDO players were motivated (at least some of them) to do it.

    Again, if people want to try it out, more power to them.  However, they should know the track record of the company that produces the game.  The following statements are facts: (1) Turbine previously shut down a game within a month of a paid expansion (AC2);  DDO has steadily lost players in the three and one half years since release, and the number of live NA servers has declined from 13 to 5; and (3) Since March 2008, Turbine has added to DDO only 5 outdoor explorer areas, 4 high level missions and two short 12 man raids. 

    Nothing wrong with that. You're free to let anyone know it. But you're statistics are pretty outdated now ;). Go on beta and check it out yourself. Turbine weren't putting less and less development, their speed now is amazing - each week there's a patch with new system, tweaks or content. There are new quests in Marketplace, not only high level ones from Mod 9 content. Sharn Syndicate Martketplace quests are quite numerous and introduce some innovation sometimes. Maybe not very big innovation, but still. And they were received very well overall. I didn't play all of them to date, but those I've played seemed like breathing some fresh air story and action-wise. More RPG-like for sure.



    All respect to you guys. Just don't call any generally positive DDO player a fanboy, ok? Fanboys don't have arguments behind their opinions. We can disagree, but we're on the same boat here. I just encourage you to give DDO F2P a chance. I really see now you might not want to like it ever again - but I'd like to see you guys in game again . That's why I wrote what I wrote - honestly, subjectively, with explanations behing every of my opinions.

    As I explained myself here, I might not respond to big walls of text for quite a while now - I'm low on free time, must use it wisely. But I will read and respond when I can. Just please keep it respectful and civil, as I try keep it that way too. For me calling a "Fanboy" or "Whiner" is pretty easy and pretty cheap. But I know it's not the best we can do, can we agree here?

    Peace.

    PS: We can just end up having different opinions, even if you went now to play the beta and tested it good and long. That's ok. But let's stay respctful to each other. We may like each other even if we have different views.

    EDIT: Actual Newbie feedback on beta forums (NDA is lifted):

    forums.ddo.com/showthread.php

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