I’m only level 3 and already Dungeons and Dragons Online has elected to whup my ass.
By the barest margin, the polls said to pick up quests from the Gatekeepers in the Grove, so it was time for a couple of quests from what I assume are a bunch of druids. The ones in that quest list guide seemed to indicate that they were level 3, and my character was level 3, so reason would stand that things would be even keel, right?
I first started my adventure in the Grove by attempting to figure out where to go by myself, talking to NPCs in order to pick up quests. Routine stuff, I thought. But then, the first NPC I spoke to hit me with a bolt of lightning that transported me to this place that effectively looked like every old school heavy metal cover art ever created.
I mean, it was neat to visit, but it was also clear I was out of my depth.
After talking to another NPC who lightninged me to another area that kept telling me I was too low of a level, I finally gave up, opened up the guidance UI, and found the NPCs in the Grove I was meant to speak to. And while this whole thing was a bit annoying, it also sort of reaffirmed how DDO does things a bit differently, for better or for worse. There’s not a whole lot of breadcrumb trail to follow here, but you’ve got to use the tools you’re given.
With a couple of quests picked up, it was time to adventure on. Both of them led me to another open adventure area of verdant hills and pretty farmlands, as well as wolves, orcs, and bugbears that were starting to smack me pretty good. It wasn’t a particularly tough test, but these encounters most certainly made me sit up and pay more attention, especially since I had spent a few hours previously farming for the Borderlands achievements, where most of the fights were faceroll.
The first was involving the Hawthorne Farm, a rather depressing little tale that was full of some sad themes and scarecrows and ravens that were rocking my world. I was nearly dying to ravens. I literally died to scarecrows. This mission was no joke, but at least I was able to work my way through with the power of my two-handed sword and a whole bunch of potion chugging.
The second mission had me working through a druid dungeon in search of some mystical bounty, which was full of even more dangerous foes. And a lot of them, too – many fights had me facing off against six enemies at a time. It was here that I ended up falling the most, particularly since I was running in to slime enemies that did damage to my weapons. At one time, I even lost the axe I was swinging, forcing me to flee from foes while I hurriedly knocked back potions like I was at a frat party and scrambled through my unsorted inventory to find my two-handed sword.
Seriously, though, where is the sort button?
Ultimately I was victorious, but it was only through a lot of falling over and copious abuse of the swift cooldown of potion use, which didn’t make me feel particularly heroic.
It also made me wonder something about whether being level 3 was somehow a hindrance to my ability to take on level 3 quests, so as a test I took up a level 2 quest, The Butcher’s Walk, which effectively was a standard dungeon crawl where the objective was to kill everything on sight.
This one was just a bit easier but also not quite as tough as the level 3 quests I took up, so it makes me think that perhaps I need to grind up some more or take up those level 2 quests before I move on. Or maybe my gear is garbage and I need to find or buy some new stuff. Or maybe I need to figure out how summonable companions work – I tried to use them when I was doing the Grove quests but the cleric scroll I bought never actually had anyone show up. But at least now I have a sweet poisonous falchion that looks like a lightsaber when I swing it.
With all of these bumps in the road, I’m still enjoying myself a whole lot and I want to keep playing some more, but alas, the time for this game on this column is drawing to a close. Or is it? Let’s sort it out the way we do here: with polls!
What do you say, friends? Should I have one more week of DDO things, or should we get on to our next game?
Should I continue with DDO or begin readying for another game?
- Keep up with DDO. Let's have one more week of writer's choice stuff. (90%, 90 Votes)
- Ready for the next adventure. Time to prepare for new worlds. (10%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 100
The second poll seems to assume the answer of the first, but I’m just getting ahead of the curve for when this CMA’s game focus does eventually shift. With that in mind, it’s time to consider what the next month’s game will be, and next month I’m actually wanting to check out the “smaller” MMOs. Yep, it’s another themed poll idea. Here are the choices.
What game should we go to next? Choose My Adventure!
- AdventureQuest 3D. Hop into this wacky world. (48%, 30 Votes)
- MapleStory. You liked the second, maybe you'll like the first. (21%, 13 Votes)
- Dungeon Fighter Online. Let's get some side-scrolling beatdown on. (32%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 63
Polling will once more wrap up at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 24th. Until I see those results coalesce, I think I’ll head back to the Borderlands and clear those objectives. Especially since some of the named monsters in that area aren’t spawning unless I reset the instance several times. Gotta love those known bugs, eh?