by Turbine

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? Excellent quests.
? Provides great storytelling.
? Top fantasy franchise.
? Offers great character creation.
? Fast-paced combat that requires skill.
? Narration of the DM helps to set the tone of missions.
? No grinding since experience is gained through quests not combat.
? Classes have well defined roles.
? Very detailed graphics.

? No PvP.
? Similar to Guild Wars.
? Awkward movement.
? Very laggy at times.
? Too dependant on forming parties.

The Bottom Line – Offers the best quests of any MMORPG yet but is not the total package MMO like World of Warcraft.

Link: Official Site


Without question Dungeons & Dragons Online is one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs yet. Dungeons & Dragons is one of the oldest and deepest fantasy franchises there is with pen and paper modules fantasy novels and computer games like Neverwinter Nights the Icewind Dale series and the vaunted Baldur’s Gate franchise. Granted the franchise has not been too successful at making movies but that is not important here. A real blockbuster would have helped get the franchise more mainstream attention but it won’t make a better game. What is important now is that D&D has finally entered the MMO arena.

Probably the biggest question about D&D becoming an MMO is whether it can surpass World of Warcraft as the best in the industry. Due to the way the game is made the answer to that question is a resounding no. No MMORPG can beat World of Warcraft while missing major elements like PvP solo play and crafting.

However missing those key elements does not mean that Dungeons & Dragons Online is a poor game. On the contrary Dungeons & Dragons Online hammers home the “RPG” in MMORPG. Instead of just randomly going through a dungeon to kill monsters and gain treasure at the end D&D Online makes the experience more immersive by adding a DM (Dungeon Master) that narrates your surroundings traps that can spring up from anywhere different paths to choose from instead of just one and well written plots. The idea is to make an experience similar to the D&D pen and paper modules and that aspect of the game definitely delivers. In fact like it or not that is the main focus of the entire game: providing a deep RPG experience that must be shared with other players in small groups. Since the pen and paper modules are played with a selected group of friends too the concept is not exactly a stretch for the franchise.

Furthermore each level is very meaningful because you can’t just fly through the levels like most other MMOs. The leveling structure emphasizes quality over quantity. There is no grinding because you do not get any experience for simply killing monsters. You have to complete missions if you want to gain in levels. This eliminates a few of the negative aspects of MMOs such as kill stealing and farming.

Another reason that the missions stand out so much is that the combat is based more on skill and strategy rather than a simple auto-attack function. Because some monsters are more vulnerable to certain weapons than others you will need to plan which weapons to carry with you on each quest. Unless you put a monster to sleep or stealth by them you will also need to be very active in combat because monsters will not just come at you in only one way. You need to be alert or you probably won’t last long because monsters come in all shape and sizes and usually don’t just stand there to let you hit them.

The character creation screen is also worth noting since it is considerably deeper than the one in World of Warcraft. Instead of only making a few major choices and getting into the game ASAP D&D allows you to customize your character more to your liking with different stats and abilities to choose from. You can even multi-class if you get tired of the class you chose at the beginning. Why keep a character that you are tired of playing? The multi-class feature cuts down the need for having several alts just to try out all of the other classes. Instead you can better shape and mold your character into how you want them to be.

Despite offering a great RPG experience with immersive gameplay D&D Online has quite a few problems that need to be addressed. For example one of the very first things that you will notice is the awkward way that you and other players move around. Picture yourself winding up for a sprint and then stopping a second later and you will get a general idea of what basic character movement looks like. Although not a huge problem it can take a few minutes to get used to. Walking around taverns and ports to find people to group with also needs some work due to huge amounts of lag in the highly populated areas. For a game that depends so much on finding party members it would make a lot of sense to make interacting with other players as easy as possible.

The biggest problem with D&D Online however could be that another game (Guild Wars) has already gone the 100% instance route and does not charge a monthly fee! Of course the two games are not really alike since Guild Wars is more of a hack and slash action game than a true RPG but the two games will still be compared to each other because they are currently the only two major MMOs that rely on instances over massive worlds. That said the question that most gamers will likely ask themselves is “Why should I pay around $15 per month for Dungeons & Dragons Online when I can get a similar game without the monthly fees?”. Unfortunately some gamers will likely answer that question with “I won’t!”.

Due to the aforementioned MMO features being absent from the game D&D Online will not appeal to all MMO players. This game is mostly for gamers who enjoy rich experiences in dungeons as opposed to grinding or PvP warfare. You can play Guild Wars without a monthly fee but you will not get anywhere near the deep RPG experience that D&D Online offers.

Game Ogre’s Rating (out of 10):


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  1. The game is like an online single-player action RPG in an era between Diablo II and Skyrim. It’s very D&D flavored. Very group co-op based. Very dungeon delving heavy. Each character is unique, and fully customizable. Avoid over-customizing as a newbie though.

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