Azzor.com  

Go Back   Azzor.com > Azzor.com Community > Azzor Zone

Azzor Zone General discussion about the Azzor community. Feedback, support, ideas, suggestions, complaints, and everything else Azzor.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-19-2006, 01:06 PM   #1
MaTT2011
Azzor Addict
 
MaTT2011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Lightbulb Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Dungeons and Dragons has never been my Fantasy forte, so to speak, I have always been more of a WarCraft / Lord of the Rings kind of guy and the idea of dice being thrown around didn’t seem like much fun to me, I just didn’t understand how it worked as an actual game. But rest assured, those like myself who have no experience in D&D lore or rules can quickly find much to like about this universe and its focus on adventure.
One thing that has bugged me about MMO’s is the sit and watch game play, I just don’t see ANY game play in this process of doing nothing(“combat”) while occasionally hitting number buttons 1-10, frankly I think its been a big practical joke. So DDO’s “click then swing” semi-real time approach is a HUGE improvement to core game play fundamentals. It’s not the 2nd coming nor does it require a great deal of skill to do effectively, but it keeps you moving and engaged…far more than simply auto attacking and arbitrarily running around to fool yourself into thinking that what your doing is engaging and that it actually matters. The best way for me to illustrate how this semi real-time combat is more engaging than most just think back to Diablo2 and what a mindless click-fest it was; it made you feel like your input actually mattered, like the game couldn’t just play itself without a conscious human guiding it. Sure, it may not seem like much but when a human can do something(click) and then have something happen as a result (swinging a sword) it helps to solidify the concept of action-reaction that most MMO’s just don’t seem to have, simply having this in the game helps to keep people engaged in what they are doing and believe me when I say that it goes a looooooooooong way here.
DDO is a game that is pretty much all about adventure and only adventure; quests come in the form of instanced zones that put various obstacles in your way and at the end of the quest a reward awaits you and you only, so there isn’t any need for crossing your fingers and praying to invisible beings for the chance at getting something of worth at the end of your hours long adventure. No matter what happens the game will reserve items especially for you to ensure that you get your fair cut, no rolling dice to see who gets what (if anything at all). To further put the focus on the journey and not the destination this game will not give you XP for simply killing things; meaning that there is no XP or gold farming…which is good.
DDO does a great thing to evolve MMO game play by getting rid of a lot of really bad ideas that just are not fun, like crafting and fishing type activities, that do more to simply waste the players time while attempting to make them feel like they are actually doing something, but watching a progress bar go from one end to the other is not “doing something” so for me crafting and similar systems/concepts are just completely useless filler. DDO doesn’t try to make you think that you can do each and every thing that has ever been introduced into MMO game play, and I like that because most of those concepts have no game play to speak of…you just sit there and watch, nothing is being “done”. What it does make you think is, “This game is about adventuring, lets go do that” Say goodbye to long and boring travels on the backs of animals and on foot, this game doesn’t have enough space to warrant such things…and this is great! I hate wasting time on anything, especially travel in a friggin video game and frankly the idea that I have to pay monthly for a game that wastes most of my game play time on getting from point A to B is insulting to my intelligence as a gamer: I want to PLAY!!! Not travel! DDO makes sure that every quest is within short distance and that it’s easy to find, and thank god that this finally has happened because to be honest I am just about sick of wasting time in games.
But DDO isn’t flawless by any means. Animation is just downright horrible and Turbine’s entire animation staff needs to be flogged with some kind of hurting ..thingy. There are literally 2-3 animations that repeat over and over for each weapon “swing” and its kind of badly done as well. The animations of other characters stutter and seem to skip frames, making everyone look like robots. Real time combat could always be better as well, even though the combat game play in this game is far superior to, well, everything it still could be better, but that’s more of a personal philosophical problem really and most people will be happy with this system especially in comparison to MMO’s on the market that follow the “sit and watch” combat game play philosophy. The amount of quests may also be a point of contention for some; with only 10 levels how much could you actually do? Players have complained that there simply isn’t enough to do, but rest assured that turbine is on the ball with future content releases; this April the first of their content modules will be released.
But overall I have to say that I have been very pleasantly surprised with this game, it’s not revolutionary but it is evolutionary…which is far more than the formulaic crud that corporations are and will continue to feed us through this genre.

Final Score: 8.2/10

-MaTT

Send feedback to TheThirdFaction@gmail.com


Do you have a review/preview? Can you write semi-well? Want to be more active in the community? Well then keep your eyes peeled for the "Azzor Army" community participation program coming soon.

This program will encourage volunteers to actively participate in the community in the way that i just have and in many other ways, PM me if you are interested in becoming a community leader and a member of the Azzor Army. =D

Last edited by MaTT2011; 03-19-2006 at 01:08 PM.
MaTT2011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 01:48 PM   #2
JayD
Site Manager
 
JayD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 384
Send a message via AIM to JayD Send a message via MSN to JayD
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Nice work MaTT. =) I think I might have to try this game.
__________________
---------

---------
JayD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
MaTT2011
Azzor Addict
 
MaTT2011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD
Nice work MaTT. =) I think I might have to try this game.

yah, its fun stuff!

Im just kind of sad because starting tommorrow i really wont be able to play.....i plan on doing impressions and reviews for Oblivion which comes out tommorrow! eek! that means i have to play....ALOT!
MaTT2011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 03:20 PM   #4
Ivaron
Azzor Master
 
Ivaron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,341
Send a message via AIM to Ivaron Send a message via MSN to Ivaron
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Wow MaTT, that's a really well-thought-out review there! Awesome idea man, and gratz on the way you described the difference between the "sit and wait" and "active gameplay" types. I had no idea what D&D Online was about, but this certainly makes me interested in the game.

You mentioned that there is no XP/gold grinding, so I wonder what is there besides quests to "improve" your character? Is it all about learning how to use the point-and-click interface the best you can, so it all depends on the player and not the hours wasted on the game, or is there more, like items, bonusses for doing quests, etc?
Or does it just focus on quest rewards for character customization/improvement?

The way you described it, it sounds like the company has made a good core-game aspect, but has been kinda lazy on the presentation (content and animation). Is that a good guess?

About the AA (Azzor Army), what's that actually about? I've heard you mention it twice now. Is it your iniative, or one from Dalgar/Volon/JayD? And what's the purpose of it, just generally writing essays, strategies, explanations, core-game phylosofies, and reviews/previews? That sounds a bit like what a game magazine does I would be delighted to hear more about it .

And last but not least, if you get Oblivion tomorrow and play it a bit, can you send me a PM about the difficulty in the game? Because that was the one thing that bugged me the most in Morrowind, that the game was not only extremely easy, but also unbelievable exploitable when it comes to the game-play system. Now I don't mind the Construction Set, because you can simply choose to ignore that until you've actually experienced playing the game with it's own difficulty, but in Morrowind, you could easily exploit the system to get high attributes, unlimited money, and unbeatable enchants on items, even if you're trying not to.
While I've heard alot about Oblivion's obvious improvements to graphics and gameplay, I haven't heard a thing about how they're going to improve the afore mentioned. I'd like to know if they have

Last edited by Ivaron; 03-19-2006 at 03:27 PM.
Ivaron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 03:50 PM   #5
MaTT2011
Azzor Addict
 
MaTT2011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivaron
Wow MaTT, that's a really well-thought-out review there! Awesome idea man, and gratz on the way you described the difference between the "sit and wait" and "active gameplay" types. I had no idea what D&D Online was about, but this certainly makes me interested in the game.
w00t! glad i could help

Quote:
You mentioned that there is no XP/gold grinding, so I wonder what is there besides quests to "improve" your character?
well, all quests and activities in the game do these 3 basic things:

1. Adventure (having fun just being with a group and playing your role, experiencing the dungeon designs and what the dev's have devised for you and your friends)

2. Give you stuff (weapons and armor, along with collectibles that can be traded in for supplies like arrows, are all over the place and very easy to identify...giant shiney chests hold items reserved for you and you only and these items will be of SOME use to your class at the very least)

3. Give you experience (you get a fair share of experience that never makes you say, "wow, that wasnt worth the time" , each level has 4 ranks and each time you rank up you get points to spend on improving the abilities of your character , this doesnt cost money, and shaping your character to a certain play style)

but thats about it and this can be seen as a negative because of what games like WoW offers (A.H. , working for an item/mount, etc)

there also is no PvP, and this is the main area of contention for most...i personally see no loss. I expect Turbine to release PvP later once the game has gotten some experience under its belt ala how WoW implemented its PvP (not neccessarily BG's, just releasing it later)


Quote:
Is it all about learning how to use the point-and-click interface the best you can, so it all depends on the player and not the hours wasted on the game, or is there more, like items, bonusses for doing quests, etc?
Or does it just focus on quest rewards for character customization/improvement?
How you build your character will ultimatly have the most influence on the outcome of any given situation but you still need to engage and stay engaged if you want to use your character to the best of his ability.

There is ALOT of items that you get from quests and they seem to have a wide variety of effects on your character. ultimatly the game strikes a good balance between stats and personal effort, if you make the effort to go out there and get the good stuff then its going to show in your playstyle and your appearnce.

but the game is very simple, no frills kind of stuff...this is its strongest feature. Adventure, get stuff and improve.

Quote:
The way you described it, it sounds like the company has made a good core-game aspect, but has been kinda lazy on the presentation (content and animation). Is that a good guess?
exactly. Animations need to be added, lots of them actually, and content needs to be continuously added to keep players adventuring and this content needs to challenge players ability to take on obstacles such as traps, different enemies, puzzles, varying combat situations (what weapon will be most effective can count for ALOT) and etc...

Quote:
About the AA (Azzor Army), what's that actually about? I've heard you mention it twice now. Is it your iniative, or one from Dalgar/Volon/JayD? And what's the purpose of it, just generally writing essays, strategies, explanations, core-game phylosofies, and reviews/previews? That sounds a bit like what a game magazine does I would be delighted to hear more about it .
all of that and more! The Azzor Army is going to be comprised of volunteer members who really want to get into gaming in a intellectual, fun and helpful way. Players enjoy reading eachothers opinions and thoughts when they are presented in a helpful and light manner , myself and Azzor are going to encourage this kind of positive interaction in the community.

those who volunteer will have the opportunity to work earn military-esque ranks which identify them as intelligent, fun and helpful people within the community and the community will respect that. These high ranking individuals will also have opportunities to lead the charge in in-game activities such as raids and PvP ventures in games like WoW and SC:Ghost.

We are also keeping the possibility of recruiting quality staff through this program, those who make the extra effort to make Azzor better will be rewarded.

Quote:
And last but not least, if you get Oblivion tomorrow and play it a bit, can you send me a PM about the difficulty in the game?
sure!

Quote:
Because that was the one thing that bugged me the most in Morrowind, that the game was not only extremely easy, but also unbelievable exploitable when it comes to the game-play system.
I know what you mean, i felt the same way. I personally despised morrowind because of those reasons; i felt like there was no focus or gameplay...hehe.

Which is why im SUPER excited to play oblivion, things have changed alot and these developers are talented despite my horribly uninformed opinion about morrowind Plus i think i can represent those who think similarly.


-MaTT
MaTT2011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 07:23 PM   #6
Ivaron
Azzor Master
 
Ivaron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,341
Send a message via AIM to Ivaron Send a message via MSN to Ivaron
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Sounds like a cool game, then. If they ever improve the content/graphics/animation I might be willing to look into playing it

And thanks for the information on the Azzor Army (sounds great! let's hope enough people feel the same way ) and Oblivion

As for the Azzor Army, since I'm not playing any games anymore and have a fulltime training period now I'll wait and see, but if the time comes, I might volunteer. I spend waaaay too much time on this forum anyways
Ivaron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2006, 09:36 PM   #7
MaTT2011
Azzor Addict
 
MaTT2011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivaron
Sounds like a cool game, then. If they ever improve the content/graphics/animation I might be willing to look into playing it

And thanks for the information on the Azzor Army (sounds great! let's hope enough people feel the same way ) and Oblivion

As for the Azzor Army, since I'm not playing any games anymore and have a fulltime training period now I'll wait and see, but if the time comes, I might volunteer. I spend waaaay too much time on this forum anyways

hehe, well heres the great thing: the way its going to be setup the focus will be on content of posts and not just the number , so a casual community member who, lets say, is just a helpful kind of guy who posts well (contributes something, no matter how small the degree) can voluntarily sign up for the Azzor Army, start the ranking system and not be forced to post a certain number of posts, all posts will accumulate and count towards rank but there will be no requirements or duties aside from making sure that all posts are at the very least courteous.

The rank and the privledges that come with them will be voluntary, so if you reach the level of infantry commander and The Azzor Army guild wants to do a raid you will be one of the first of the possible candidates to lead the charge or be assigned a high rank within the guild.

Basically this will be a way for players to interact with players in game and in the community in a way that is mutually beneficial for all; players want a great community but the only people that can do that are the players....we want to provide a system where people can step up to make a community better while being recognized for it
MaTT2011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2006, 08:35 PM   #8
Ciel
Azzor Guru
 
Ciel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 552
Send a message via AIM to Ciel
Default Re: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Review by MaTT

I played the game for a few months and had a maximum level Wizard, among other characters. Here's my feedback:

Pros:
- Awesome game for the casual player. The play is pretty relaxed and it doesn't take too long to get to level 10 (max).
- Great mechanics, awesome group dynamics, and interesting dungeons. I'd say it has better gameplay than WoW.

Cons:
- No solo content can be a bummer if you play during non-peak hours (I've found past 11 PST, it becomes nearly impossible to find groups. That may be my server, though).
- Little content. The endgame consists of loot runs (which become increasingly boring) and two raid dungeons, basically. The raids are pretty fun, but the second is extremely difficult (I believe no one has beat the boss yet, and it's been out for at least a month or so...imagine it taking a month for someone to beat Razorgore when BWL came out).
- Classes are unbalanced. Huge bias towards melee because of itemization (Fighters are the best class for dealing damage and second best at taking it, for example).
- Classes don't have a lot of variety, and some are boring. While I had lots of fun with my Wizard, whose role is primarily CC, followed by buffs and then damage, the melee types tend to be pretty hack 'n slash (very few abilities, no type of 'mana,' 'rage' or 'energy' to use) and boring, IMO. Also, all the casters use duplicate spells (Sorcerer and Wizard are essentially the same class with a few different perks).


Basically, if you don't play a lot (no more than an hour or two a day), you'll love this game and it probably won't bore you (they'll come out with new content for you at plenty fast a pace). However, if you are hardcore, I'd stick with WoW, EQII or the like, because this game gets old fast. I don't consider myself hardcore, and I blew through almost all the content over the summer (I quit because of RL reasons, however, I would've continued to play).

I hope my perspective adds a little bit to this.
Ciel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.