I contemplate this post with hesitancy. I give due pause, as the confessional contained herein could result in permanent, nasty impressions of my character; scathing opinions of yours truly which could reverberate across not only the meta-microcosm of the blogosphere, but well into my actual life of social engagements and affluent attendances.
Dandies, friends, and enemies… let’s talk about Dungeons and Dragons Online.
I have before, in jest, teasingly tossed tidbits of truthiness regarding my nightly forays into the realm of Eberron to battle hobgoblins and slay sorcerers intent on any number of malicious endeavors.
As the diminutive Halfling rogue, Raccoon Sly, I slink through the sewers and alleys of Stormreach, one of Eberron’s capital ports. I’m a mistress (yes I’m a girl) of intrigue. No hidden secret or sparkling treasure is safe from my greedy, little paws.
(Oh God I’m shaking as I type these horrible, horrible words!)
You may ask what is a Halfling? Well, think Hobbit but without the J.R.R. Tolkein trademark infringement. You may ask what is a Hobbit? Think Israel the midget stripper, but with out the stripping. Actually, I take that back. Raccoon has a propensity for dancing in her undies on the countertops of Stormreach’s shadiest bar, the Rusty Nail.
(Why do you debase yourself in such terrible manner Gayest Neil? Everyone loves you without the need to humiliate yourself!!)
Raccoon not only possesses the tricky cunning of a thief. She also understands the mystic arts of an apprentice wizard. Unlike her flashy contemporaries who toss balls of flame or bolts of acid, Raccoon prefers a more subtle approach. She manipulates magic, allowing herself to float gently from dangerous heights or deflect the attacks of slobbering monsters or simply cajole the beasts to stand blankly in their tracks as she weaves a hypnotic pattern before cruelly slicing their throats.
(No. No. No. Stop now!)
And the various weapons found or potions sipped add a giddy sense of customization to the game, which was never the case with other online diversions. Already Raccoon discovered a vicious dagger with an enchantment against reptilian adversaries. What a lovely knife to own while skulking about the depths of Stormreach’s crocodile infested sewers.
(My eyes are bleeding!!!)
Unfortunately, everything is not treasure and fighting monsters in DDO. (I wish it were) Much of this “game” involves standing around begging nerds to be your friend. And that sucks. That sucks a whole lot.
(Oh…this is better.)
When you log on, it takes a good fifteen to twenty minutes to find a group of players who 1) need your particular abilities in their mix of healers, warriors, rogues and wizards and 2) are attempting the same quest that you are willing to do.
Even when you join, it may take more time for them to continue filling out a “party” (group of adventurers) to a total of six players. But if only it were that simple. Once you join a party it’s all about the chemistry, and I’m not talking potion-making.
I can’t stand most the retards in this game. DDO supports an in-game chat function in which any geek can plug in and chit-chat on any various topic of his choosing.
And geeks love to talk. They love it like calculus or acne cream. Discussion usually goes in two directions. Either a chatty player becomes a stand-up comic (to everyone’s chagrin) or a chatty player turns into Bossy McBoss-Pants and proceeds command everyone what to do and how to do it. NO FUN.
And so much gender-bending in this innocent little game; I was advetnuring with a buxom, elfin lady named Galadrial. She was a boy. Her real name was Walter. They’re all boys. It goes without saying if you see a buxom, blond female elfin warrior with a huge sword… it’s a nerd in real life.
I play this game for fun, as a means to step away from reality for an hour or two. And, I’m sad to report, Dungeons and Dragons Online is more tedious than entertaining. (On a side note: why does every freakin’ dungeon have so many traps? How do these monsters afford to install these things?)
Sadly, much of the excitement that classic D&D afforded me as a kid was due to my very own imagination. Being told you’re fighting a horde of zombies, imagining flesh falling from their bones as they slumped forward to chew on your face is rather more fun than seeing four, identical animated versions while a bossy nerdwad shouts in your ear.
The game does have it’s high points. DDO is very beautifully rendered and the quests (although few in number) prove to be exciting and challenging. It also follows the game mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons to a tee, which tickles the rules stickler in me.
Unfortunately, this dungeon delving dandy’s immediate opinion is harshly swayed by the tedium of mission-finding. I’m not paying a monthly fee to socialize. I’m paying so my lesbian midget wizard can grab a quest, jump into the action and hoard the coolest loot. I’ll give it another month, but if you’re looking for a kick ass online game, go with City of Heroes and City of Villains.