I just started playing Dungeons and Dragons Online again.
The game has been completely revamped, from what I remembered. When I started playing DDO (which was like a week or two after it started), you started the tutorial just outside of Stormreach. When you finished that, you were in Stormreach. Now, you start in a fishing village and have to wander all over the wilderness, completing quests and finding unique encounters/locations.
Why this works is because the old system operated on accomplishments. That is, as you completed certain goals listed in the XP tab of that particular location/mission, you gained x amount of extra experience when you left the location or finished the mission. They treat the wilderness areas now as one giant mission. As you kill x amount of mobs, you slowly fill up a Slayer task that awards big experience rewards. As you find x amount of unique locations, you gain another XP boost. There are x amount of rare encounters that award items and XP boosts. Finally, there’s usually quests seeded around the map to complete that correlate with unique locations.
So it’s awesome in that aspect. You’d think the newly advertised “free” aspect would be equally awesome. But alas, it’s largely tied to pay-for content, which can seriously limit your options character and space-wise (such as storing things). It’s a common model for pay-for-content. Vindictus uses the same model, really.
I haven’t reached Stormreach yet. I like what I see, but I’m still pretty … wary until I reach that familiar city of my earlier experience. If they streamlined the city and made more quests, I’ll love it. If they left the muddled city the same and didn’t add quests, then I’ll be ambivelent about it.
BONUS: Here’s my character’s background.
ARGYR McCLAUD (Human Paladin)
“The Clan McClaud was an old family that had gained power during the Last War. Based in Zilargo, the McClauds associated itself with the House Sivis, working as intermediaries and merchants. Most of the family was highly educated and extremely motivated, especially in the realm of politics.
“Argyr was born in Korranberg, and his father Braeyr was the patriarch of the Clan. He spent most of his youth in luxury, being tutored by human and gnome scholars. The young man could be found in the Library of Korranberg reading, while other children were engaged in other activities. Most assumed that Argyr would become a dedicated scribe, and replace his father as patriarch. He was most assuredly being groomed for the position.
“Before Argyr turned 18 years, the Triumvirate accused the Clan McClaud of being corrupted. The House Sivis immediately distanced itself from the family, creating a crisis. Braeyr tried to meet with members of the Trust to restore the family’s station, but was murdered during negotiations. No one really knew the truth, and the Clan scattered to avoid further incidents. Argyr was left to his own devices, so he took up the sword and became a paladin looking for purpose.”
I’m thinking maybe I’ll have him also searching for the rumors about the Path of the Light (a kalashtar belief). Maybe he suspects his paladin powers come from that source, instead of the Sovreign Host.