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DDO Goes Solo 77

Posted by Zonk
from the lonely-d20 dept.
Gamespot reports on efforts by Dungeons and Dragons Online creator Turbine to add soloable content to the gameworld. They have added a new difficulty level to the existing missions ('solo'), which will allow players unwilling or unable to form a group to successfully complete tasks. From the article: "Turbine has also adjusted the experience requirements for leveling up. The change heavily favors new players, cutting the necessary experience points to get to level two by half. However, the requirements for levels four and up will only be decreased by 10,000 points."
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DDO Goes Solo

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  • by scrabbleguy (980944) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:24PM (#15496289) Homepage
    I wonder if they'll be offering an offline version of their game for those who only want to play solo?
  • This helps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dark Paladin (116525) <[jhummel] [at] [johnhummel.net]> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:25PM (#15496297) Homepage
    I was talking to a friend the other day about how I don't play WoW because a) I just don't have the time, and b) the later missions pretty much require that I always have to have a group with me.

    The problem with that is finding said group, organizing them, keeping them there long enough, before I decide I need to go to bed, blah, blah, blah.

    But when I was playing Oblivion, I actually thought it would be nice to have other people around to chat with or trade things with (like "I'll restore charges on your weapon for some potions"), or just chat about things in game or otherwise. Some really good discussions I've had came around through old MUD gaming while talking to guild members about Friends or religion or politics.

    What we decided is that the fun of MMRPG's isn't necessarily grouping together - it's just the shared experience. I'd be perfectly happy never having a group of people with me on a quest, but just being able to chat or trade with them as I chose.

    So, I'd love to see a MMRPG with mostly solo quests that can ramp themselves up if you have a group to provide a challenge - but don't *make* me try and herd these cats you call other gamers if I don't want to.
    • I don't play WoW because ... b) the later missions pretty much require that I always have to have a group with me.

      Huh? WoW is one of the most solo-friendly MMORGs in existence. You can perfectly well get to 60 without once being in a group.

      No, you won't be able to do raid dungeons solo and so will miss out on some loot, but if you want to casually play a MMORG mostly solo -- WoW is by far your best bet.
      • The end-game in WOW is all about raiding. The only way to advance is through equipment and most the good stuff is from raids. So yes, its casual to 60 but all the end-game and most of the new content isn't available to casual players.
        • Re:This helps (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Kaa (21510)
          The end-game in WOW is all about raiding.

          On PvE servers, probably. Having never played on one, I can't say :-)

          On PvP servers the end-game includes raid dungeons but certainly isn't limited to them.

          So yes, its casual to 60 but all the end-game and most of the new content isn't available to casual players.

          Again, it depends on what you want from the game. For some people the end-game is raiding and fat loot. For others it's just using WoW as a pretty chat room. Some people treat world PvP as the end-game. It a
          • Hmmmm, I wholeheartly agree that for some doing PVP or whatever the end-game is casual friendly.

            For the majority of players it isn't.
          • On PvP servers, it's not limited to raid dungeons, but the raid dungeons are required. You don't have raid-obtained equipment in PvP, you get pwned.

            Chris Mattern
    • Re:This helps (Score:4, Informative)

      by AviLazar (741826) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:43PM (#15496469) Journal
      The problem with that is finding said group, organizing them, keeping them there long enough, before I decide I need to go to bed, blah, blah, blah.

      That is NOT the problem with end game instances. Once you are in a guild that is of sufficient quality to do an instance then you guys schedule time. For 20 man and 40 man instances - if you have a guild of 100 people it is easy (in fact people are begging to get on the teams).
      The problem with the end game instances is the sheer amount of time to finish them. I think MC, assuming you don't wipe, is about 4-6 hours. Usually MC is split into two night events.

      The only instance I have ever had problems with, that I generally do not get a guild for, is UBRS. PUG groups (pick-up groups) are nightmares and are almost NEVER done for 20-40 man raids. In fact, whenever someone tries to organize a PUG 20-40 man group everyone laughs.

      WoW has a TON of soloable quests, from level 1-60. Just a lot of the more rewarding quests (i.e. slaying the big huge dragon, or defeating the creature that is near god-like in power) requires a group of 20-40 people. You do not have to do it, but you will not get those rewards...and some of the best rewards in the game are soloable (battlegrounds ranks Marshal/Field Marshal/Grand Marshal gear, Cenarian Hold rewards, and more).
      • The problem with that is finding said group, organizing them, keeping them there long enough, before I decide I need to go to bed, blah, blah, blah.

        That is NOT the problem with end game instances.

        What's an "end game instance"? Is that where you beat the game? Or is it where you quit? If it's the former, then hey weren't even talking about that. If it's the latter, then "yes it is".

        Once you are in a guild that is of sufficient quality to do an instance then you guys schedule time.

        I don't want to

        • What's an "end game instance"? Is that where you beat the game? Or is it where you quit? If it's the former, then hey weren't even talking about that. If it's the latter, then "yes it is".

          It's neither. Think dungeons and dragons. End-game instances are area's that you get to when you reach level 60 (presently the highest level). People do end-game instances for years at a time because there are amazing items that drop...the only thing is they don't always drop, and there are 40 other people who may
          • If that is not what you want then buy yourself a non-online based game.

            Sooner or later a publisher will get over this attitude that you too have displayed and release a game that will go on to sell hojillions of copies to those people who don't want their gaming to be an addiction, just a habit.

      • In fact, whenever someone tries to organize a PUG 20-40 man group everyone laughs.

        Except on Mannoroth, where we PUG Onyxia and Ragnaros weekly.

        • Except on Mannoroth, where we PUG Onyxia and Ragnaros weekly.

          Really? So how do you handle who gets what items? Do you guys use DKP? What website is that managed?
          That is definitly a rare thing...Onyxia is not that hard, my friend was telling me of a video showing like 12 people downing ONY - though I am sure they were pretty epic'd out to do that. But Rag - that guy is a bear (his son's make it hard)
    • I've levelled 3 60's in WoW. It's easily the most soloable MMORPG I've ever played. I'm not sure why you think you couldn't do this, unless you're referring to instances.
    • Yeah, when I want to play a solo game, I play Oblivion, or Half-Life 2, or some other game that is designed for that purpose. When I play a MMO, I expect to group.

      I am not sure how this soloable content is going to work. Are they going to elimiate all traps and stat-required doors? I mean, traps make it so a rogue is a necessity for just about every dungeon, or you are eating some serious damage. There are lots of "stat of XX or greater is needed to unlock this area" locks. There are few if any healing
      • My experience with DDO was that grouping SUCKED. There was such a limited amount of content that probably 90% of the people you group with at any time will have done whatever it is that your group is doing. The other 10% have no idea what the hell is going on in the game; they were powerlevelled or they are someone's kid brother messing around or something.

        So either you group with a bunch of people who just want to clear a dungeon as fast as humanly possible, know exactly where to go, what to do and in what
    • FWIW that IS WoW, until you hit 60.

      First character, Tauren Hunter essentially solo to 60.
      Second character, Gnome Warrior essentially solo to 52 (so far)
      Third char, Tauren Druid, ONLY play this character with my wife, so we've paired together every minute of this char's existence - to 29 so far.
      Fourth char, Undead Warlock to 19

      Absolutely you're right, 60 content mostly sucks. I've done all the soloable quests (and a hunter is admirably capable of soloing things), and frankly now that accomplishing anything
    • Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. I also have been saying this for years. Some MMO's lend themselves to soloing but none get it quite right. The knee-jerk reaction is that "STFU noob, this is a MMO" but that is precisely the problem, I don't want to rely on some lame smart-allec 13 yr. old in my group just to advance in the game. I don't have friends that play MMO's, so I do not have the luxury of a built in guild or team to get started. So let me solo around until I meet up with some like-minded players t
  • My brother played DDO at launch and from what I saw I was curious about the grouping and the level requiremets.

    I didn't get a chance to try it before he un-subscribed, but it looked like a fun game even if it needed some tweaking.

    I will have to tell him about this in case he wants to re-subscribe because of these changes.
  • This is a good move, and might require a second look at the game. I played in the head-start pre-order program and cancelled my order before launch. Beyond the initial character set-up, there's simply nothing for a solo player to do, quest-wise, and since all advancement is tied to questing, there's no game here for the solo player.

    Of course, the premise of the game is to form a group and go questing together -- One of the "M"s in MMO stands for "multiplayer," you know. But even hardcore players, and casual
  • I don't know a lot about these online games but from what I understand on WoW you get people who don't have a lot of experience and no one wants to play with them which makes it more difficult for them to get any experience... and it goes on... so this sounds good. It also stops the problem of having to decide who gets what when you finish the level
    • What I got from playing WoW was a lot of people who wanted to grind the same things over and over again, instead of doing different quests. There were also people who couldn't follow orders, people who had no idea how to play their character, people who would quit if they died once, and people who would quit out of nowhere without giving any warning.
    • If you dont know a lot about these online games, why bother to make a comment, which through your lack of knowledge will more than likely be wrong? - Which in this case it is.
      • I might not know a lot about these online games, but I have been playing games for years and I know how the politics of it works... I assumed that it would probably work the same way (which you claim it not to, although I have no proof either way)... but knowing what I thought at the time I belived that this was a good thing...

        Anyway, you don't seem to get how the comment system works, it isn't only limited to people who make comments because they have a large amount of knowledge about a topic - sometim
  • A new difficulty options will be available to those who want to have a go at some areas alone.

    What if another user walks into this area while the the user is going at it? Do they go blind?
    • Behold the magic of instanceing. It's a level 11 Sorc/Wiz/DM spell that lets you duplicate an entire dungeon.
    • Unlike other MMOs, DDO has every adventure set as an instance. When you start an adventure with a group, that adventure will only have your group. No need to share spawns, or camp one spot because of others who are also playing.

      So, you form your group BEFORE you start your adventure, you go through the adventure from start to finish. You can add people to the group once you have started, but generally, you go through the adventure with your original group. Some quests have multiple parts, with each p
    • What if another user walks into this area while the the user is going at it? Do they go blind?
      I think it's the person going at it who goes blind, you wonderfully innocent soul, you.
  • by inio (26835) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:54PM (#15496582) Homepage
    Q: What's geekier than playing board games with friends?
    A: Playing Dungeons & Dragons with friend.

    Q: What's geekier than playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends?
    A: Playing Dungeons & Dragons with strangers.

    Q: What's geekier than playing Dungeons & Dragons with strangers?
    A: Playing Dungeons & Dragons with strangers, online.

    Q: What's geekier than playing Dungeons & Dragons with strangers, online?
    A: Playing Dungeons & Dragons alone, online.

    Though thankfully, LARPing still has all that beat hands down.
  • Nothing new here, this was first published at the beginning of last month. Kind of funny for a game that had an advertising campaign of "Friends don't let friends play solo"
  • I'm noticing that since the success of WOW, more mainstream MMOs are leaning towards easier grinds and soloable content, IE, they are mimicing WOW in the hopes of recapturing some of the market share. Honestly though, I think they've already lost the faith of a lot of gamers by not making it this way from the start. MMOs have for me become a losing fight - the game developers are encouraged to introduce long, time consuming content, grinds, collections, or whatever, because you are paying them by month.
    • I can understand the attitude "I just want to play, don't make me work". In essence this is a call to eliminate the concept of character advancement. You start at some level of capability - and never get any more powerful. Developers would have to focus on making new and interesting quests. So you could be a 10th level fighter, or a 10th level thief, or any combination of 10 levels - but that's as far as you ever advance.

      Or you might start out with the highest level of skill in one category - but if you
  • by steveo777 (183629) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @03:15PM (#15496769) Homepage Journal
    I'm willing to bet, from personal experience, that most D&D players already have at least a few proficiency slots used up in going it "solo."
  • by Programmer_In_Traini (566499) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @03:33PM (#15496922)
    What this really means to me is that unfortunately, Turbine's got a bad product on its hands (again) and now they're entering survival mode by just giving up and altering the game they made. You know, when game gets old, its normal that it receives an overhaul to give it some fresh air but...at the beginning like that ? hum...scary...

    In fact, im pretty sure DDO can be quite a cool game with various strategies..meant for the true D&D fan at heart. The cold hard fact is that people dont play online to play the way they do on the table with P&P. They just wanna bash stuff, get loot and fat xp :)

    I said it when turbine came up with AC2 and I'll say it again, they need a game that offer an immersive solo player experience and not only for the beginning of game, for the WHOLE game. You know, another poster said the same thing in this thread. When i go online, what i like to do is chat with my guild, trade with people and go hunting on my merry own or maybe with two or three personal friends. I rarely have more than two hours in a row so I cant afford big groups with lots of coordination, nature calls, laundry breaks and knockings at the door, not that its bad, but on the large scale, thats very time consuming.

    playing a mmo for me means interacting with people not being forced to be with a big bunch of PUGs just because my quests forces me to group. That is immensely why wow is so successful. Sure for high end instances you are forced to group for the majority of the quests, you can solo them if feel like so.

    People keep saying that soloing quests defeats the purpose of playing a mmo but i disagree, I like to play alone or with close friend but I like mmos because I can interact with people. that is what mmo means to me.
    • It sounds like Guild Wars would be perfect for you.
      • It sounds like Guild Wars would be perfect for you.

        Guild wars pve is frustratingly bad. The aggro control system is overly simplistic - to the point where I'd say it just sucks. The social interface is bad. The "community" is awful. The equipment and crafting systems are shallow.

        Guild Wars made the decision to balance the game on pvp. That is the right choice if you are are going to have pvp and pve use the same ruleset, but they did so at the expense of pve - GW pve is mediocre at its best and godawful

  • I just cannot help but hate this change. DnD is not a solo game, infact it is impossible to play alone. And not only that, but MMOs are not supposed to be solo games, so where is the point in this. All they are doing is catering to the mindless fools who just want an easy-mode for every game and to get everything so they can brag and think they are the best at everything.

    Also I am viewing this as a sellout becasue when it was in development the devs stated that DnD is not a solo game and DDO would never
    • "I just cannot help but hate this change. DnD is not a solo game, infact it is impossible to play alone."

      Well except for those bizarre solo modules TSR released back in the mid-80s.
    • The reason for this change is because there are times like at 2am where the population on some of the servers is VERY low, and grouping becomes very difficult. So you have people who play at those times who can't do anything due to a lack of people.

      Turbine's solution is to make the new "solo" difficulty provide a 50 percent reduction in experience reward. So if you want to solo, the reward will be MUCH lower, but the choice is still there. Some classes will still be unable to solo, and some adventures
    • Don't you remember the solo random dungeon in the DM's guide?
      Hello?

      Then advantage is you don't have to solo. I play at odd times, so having solo content is good for me.
      Too bad my trial period is about to expire.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @03:59PM (#15497179) Homepage Journal
    with the fact they have another failed game on their hands.

    The one constant in Turbines two games since the original Asheron's Call is that they fail to acknowledge the warnings of their fans. Turbine has many loyal fans from their Asheron's Call game and most are willing to try anything new Turbine comes out with. Yet at the same time Turbine fails to exploit this valuable commodity and instead ignores them and even at times insults them.

    I remember quite well Turbine representatives dismssing the claims that D&DO did not have enough content to launch, was not friendly to players who may want to solo or find themselves in that position. Combine this with a game world which is player unfriendly, meaning all areas are instance, with no real activity other than the dungeon crawl, and it exaggerates the games inherent limitations. Simply put, there is nothing to do other than group.

    Yes I know the idea of D&D is to play with others but that ignores the reality of gaming today. If players want to game together there are many other ways they can do so and most of them allow for much more player interaction than an internet MMORPG. The best way to have a successful MMORPG is to appeal to the broadest possible number of players. Purposely excluding potential players is always a road to disaster and Turbine went down the road full speed.

    Hopes for LOTR (MEO or whatever its current name is) dimmed significantly when Turbine emphasized the group play as a focus. The classes provided are meant to support each other but not necessarily be soloable. Some classes don't appear to have any real potential outside of groups. If this makes it to production it will yet be another game with limited appeal and a short life.
  • by autojive (560399)
    All this acronym overload is killin' me. The first thing I thought reading the title was: "WTF... Dance Dance Ovulation?"
  • I played it in the beta and thought it was pretty good, but not good enough for a monthly fee. With the option to solo, I may actually try it out again.
  • DDO's interpretation of 3.5 simply didn't work well in real time. Temple of Elemental Evil exemplifies what D&D is good at - tactical turn-based combat. DDO's "flip on auto-attack and try to keep the spastic kobald in range" style of melee, on the other hand, was the worst I've ever been exposed to in an MMO. On top of that, there was hardly anything to do in the quests. After the 17th "BREAK BOXES! BREAK CRATES! PREVENT THIS CRATE FROM BEING BROKEN!" quest I wanted to kill myself instead of the kobalds
  • . . . is with a group of friends. Doesn't take many, all I have atm is 3 or 4 who log in each day. If we want to fill the team up with a stranger we can, but the game doesn't force you to join or grow a huge Guild in order to succeed (which is good). We even stopped using in game voip in favor of Skype beta recently.

    Just take my advice and have someone who can deal and take damage (Fighter), someone who can handle the traps secret doors and locked chests (Rogue), and someone who can buff in the beginning
  • I played the beta, and didn't even want to try the full version, it is just that uninspiring. They didn't do anything terribly wrong with the game in any way, its just that wow and eq2 simply blow it out of the water in almost every aspect. Finding groups in the beta was ridiculously hard, at least making everything solo will give the people who bought the game a chance to play it.

    Unless you are an absolute hardcore fan of D&D you should definitely pass on this game, the only unique thing about the ga
    • I have to completely disagree -- the D&D stat system is the best thing out there.

      Aren't you tired of situations in WoW such as the following:

      "Hey, I just looted a sword that gives me +30 on my strength!"

      "Whoa! What does that do for you?"

      "Uhh, boosts my damage by 0.18%?"

      Yeah, boosting your strength by 1 or 2 in D&D actually does matter. There is no "curve" where someone with average AC gets hit 30% of the time, but with infinite AC gets hit 20% of the time because that's what the developers decided

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