Rise of the Runelords

Session 08: Player's Thoughts; DnD vs. DDO

Chapter Two: The Skinsaw Murders

Provided by Eric.

I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons for quite some time. In fact I believe it has been 14 years and still going strong. During the course of these fourteen years I've had both the honor and the misery to play and have played with various people. It is quite the small social gathering where we let our imagination take us into a realm of fantasy where we roll play, crack jokes, and combat the unknown.

In the same fourteen years I have also had the pleasure of playing a massive multiplaying online game known as Everquest for a 7 year period where this too you emerge yourself into a fantasy world not in ones mind and on paper but on a computer screen communicating with a mic and earphones. Hereto I've had both the honor and misery of playing with various peoples though the numbers had totaled well over a thousand.

Both Dungeons and Dragons and Everquest are appealing, though in all honesty the online game was WAY more addicting. Known as 'Evercrack' it was far easier to go home, sit by a computer, boot it up, log in and immerse yourself into the fantasy world where you explored, grouped and had fun. Day after day… night after night, this endless game would always be there waiting for me to come back to play some more. DnD was less accessible because since it was a gathering of close friends, we had to pick a time and day when we would all be available for a few hours to pick up where we left off. I made a choice however and I decided to end my online account, and suspend all Everquest game play. I stopped cold Turkey, and man was it painful.

Several days ago did I finally learn that Dungeons and Dragons online granted fee access to anyone. There was a catch however, that being you could not progress beyond 20th level, you did not have access to the higher end zones, and you did not gain access to all classes and races. How could I refuse such a tempting offer? Darn right I downloaded it, and damn straight I've been playing it from time to time since. Now whereas Everquest was in my mind amazing, unique and really kept bringing me back for more… I don't find Dungeons and Dragons online to have the same qualities. In fact from what I've read and what I've made mentioned to a World of Warcraft friend, DDO is practically the same as WoW, just done in a DnD style.

Both DnD & DDO allow you to play with friends or strangers.
Both have quests.
Both have basic classes.
Both have basic races.
Both have actions points, skills and feats.
Both use an xp leveling system.
Both use a D20 for combat and skill checks.
Both allow mages to cast Magic Missile _
Both have dragons, zombies, ghouls, beholders, etc…
Both have traps, need lock picking and decent search checks.

In fact there are a lot of similarities between both the book, paper and dice game and the online experience. Then again like EQ, DDO allows me to play DnD whenever I want. I can group with friends or strangers, or even hire goons should I want a large party group. I have both a lv 2.5 Warcleric and yes… a lv 2.8 PALADIN! I vowed never to play one again since my Anakin Skyrunner ordeal, but I created one in the DDO universe. I can visually see myself hacking and slashing at my foes. I know clearly when spells and abilities can be refreshed, and of course I can 'return' to town without hassle. It is somewhat different than DnD and definitely different from EQ but nonetheless it does have a fun factor to it.

Then again there are many aspects of DnD that isn't there in DDO.
To name a few… Bob, Chris and Mark.
To sit around, lounge around and talk, laugh and poke fun at something.
The storylines created by us and / or the modules we follow (which are damn good).
The actually roll playing and diverse class creations.

How many times have we referred to our unbeatable 'Outsiders' party? Markus has the amazing ability to link several story arcs into one master piece. Bob is one of the few people I know that creates a character with so much soul and spirit and plays them to a T. Chris can always be counted on to take his character in a direction that makes you ponder what the final outcome will be of his character. Where else can I create a Wild Mage? Nuff said.

My final thoughts and end results…
Dungeons and Dragons by far beats Dungeons and Dragons online. I would never in a million years choose DDO over DnD. As mentioned there are a lot of similarities, however in comparison DDO is a piss poor substitution that only helps fill in any DnD urge. I would never and could never trade in my good friends for this online version of the game. DnD is always coming up with something new and exciting and though from time to time we all feel like we've done this before, the fun factor is only increasing. New parties, new stories and new characters. Soon we will be delving into the newest 4.0 edition which should add some spice to the mixture. 

All in all, it is DnD that gets my two thumbs up. I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.



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