First things first: I really like DDO. The time displayed doesn't nearly reflect the time I've spent on this game, just add a good ~3,000 hours and it might be right.
I like it in spite of the following:
- There are still bugs in the game, that have been known for years. (After seven years, there was a kind of unofficial celebration of the infamous "ladder bug" on the forums. I think I'd be sad if they fixed it someday.)
- The new shard exchange (read: we want your real money) dealt the death blow to the ingame currency.
- The player base has been eroding for years now and new players a rare sight.
- If you can't find a group / guild to join, you'll have a hard time (read: die a lot) as a new player.
- If you have never before played D&D, you will ♥♥♥♥ up on character creation the first time around. And the second time and the third time,... can you notice a pattern?
- If you have played D&D before, you will ♥♥♥♥ up on character creation, the first time around. And then the second and third time... but you will notice your mistakes earlier.
- There are tons of low to mid-level quests but hardly any F2P-quests in endgame.
- No, sadly it's not really like pen and paper D&D. Then again, I can't imagine how to make that fly as an MMORPG.
(- How to put this gently: Some people will instantly hate DDO upon reading this paragraph. Why? There is no PvP to speak of. PvP only exist if you want to participate, but it's useless. DDO's character classes are based on the pen and paper version of D&D 3.5. Meaning, the classes are supposed to support each other in combat against enemies, not against each other. No matter how often you throw your virtuoso-skilled Bard against my Wizard, you're toast. If you want PvP and can't have fun in a game without bushwhacking other players' characters, go somewhere else.)
I like DDO because of the following:
- In fact I like this game so much, I've even started to like it's bugs and there are plenty of those. Some are frustrating while others are hilarious and none of them game breaking. Yep, that's a pro
- Nice crafting system - or more precisely - systems, as there are roughly ten diffferent crafting systems around. If you've got enough time or money or capable and nice friends / guild members, you'll have decent gear pretty soon.
- Once you know how to look for a group it's easy to find one. If you ask nicely, the other members of your new group will probably slow down and explain why they are doing what they are doing and may even act as tour guides during quests.
- The game is heavily instanced which I happen to like.
- While it is easy to ♥♥♥♥ up on character creation, there is plenty of information on the forums how not to. Make no mistake, your first character will be utterly incompetent. If trying, testing and scrapping different builds of characters translates to "fun" for you, this is your game. You'll hardly find a game that gives you more freedom to create your
- Yes, you can spend money on the game. I certainly did over the years but you don't have to. If you've got the time or patience you can farm enough of the shop currency "Turbine Points" to buy everything you need. And you'll simply earn those points by just playing.
- The graphics are older but still decent enough.
- No involuntary PvP. If you like really well done PvE though, give DDO a try.
- If you need advice or help ingame, just go into the next tavern (because players idle there to regenerate and have some spare time on their hands) and ask. Send someone you see with "wings" left and right of their character's name a polite /tell and chances are good you'll get your answer or a hint where to look.
- Huge amount of freedom when it comes to character builds, I cannot emphasise this enough.
- Active combat! You might even have to use your brain sometimes. Just standing around while spamming attacks and holding everything on cooldown is not how combat works in DDO.
- Always new and fun ways to die. Did you know that the teleport spell comes with the possibility of depositing you a few hundred metres above the marketplace? Hope you remember where your Ring of Feather Fall is while panicking.
I have to admit, that the game is past it's prime but it has aged well. You certainly should give it a try if you are into D&D. After all, it's F2P.