Overpowered and Underpowered in DDO

On Saturday, I didn’t get as much time to play as I had planned. This was mostly due to a late Summer day (after July and August had utterly failed to deliver, any warm day in September needs to be used), which I spend sitting in a chair on the balcony reading. (Walter Kempowski: Das Echolot. A fascinating kaleidoscope, but I don’t think there’s an English translation; besides, it doesn’t belong into this blog.)

In the evening, I played a bit of DDO with Dioneo, my bard. I decided I’d like to try out some non-free adventures, and pondered my options. I could take a subscription, to open up everything temporarily. However, DDO is pretty strict about what you retain when you downgrade again: additional characters above your “premium user” slot are locked, you lose bank access, etc. Also, “everything” is not quite true: several options, such as the Favored Soul class, do not come with a subscription, and need to be bought separately. Finally, while I like the game, I’m not sure how much time I’ll spend in it at any given point. I’ll probably wander off and come back later.

In the end, I bought the medium point pack, which was still cheaper than a three-month subscription, and gave me the possibility to buy some stuff, and keep the rest for later. I opted for two low-level adventure packs, the Catacombs, and the Seal of Shan-To-Kor, which got good reviews on the forums. I wasn’t disappointed. The Catacombs are a classic “slay the undead” adventure with a decent story, and give a LOT of favor (reputation), which is useful because it unlocks things like classes and races for non-VIPs. Shan-To-Kor was a massive (for a low-level at least) dungeon crawl, which felt well-made, and the last area gave me some challenge, even on normal mode on my overpowered bard. Especially the final boss was a very close encounter. Plus, the dungeon gives Coin Lords rep, which means I could unlock the fourth inventory bag from favor.

In the end, I reached level 4 on my bard, and decided to revisit my Rogue/Wizard that I play in our static group. Now, the group is mostly, but not completely, static. I left early one night last week, and my friends decided to push on for one more adventure. Which means I was a bit behind. While I was still towards the end of level 3, they had already hit level 4. So, I went and tried to get the remaining experience. It was pretty painful. Compared to my bard, my Rogue/Wizards feels very underpowered; especially the limit on spell points can be a problem, but also the surprisingly low damage output. I just assume it will get better with levels, and Wizards will be able to catch up. After some cursing and unexpected deaths, plus running level 2 “easier than average” quests repeatedly, I finally hit level 4, and can now park this character again until we start playing in a group again. Soloing will probably not be my favorite part on this character, no.

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