Veteran Advice

You may be tempted to ask for advice on the forums and unlike a lot of games the DDO forumgoers are a pretty decent crowd fro giving out advice. However there is something you need to remember about this advice.

The veterans assume you’re in a party and that you followed the most optimal build and that you’re in a high level guild with a full set of ship buffs and that you have all the best possible gear for your level and that you know the game inside out.

If you bear that in mid then the veteran advice is sound. However if you don’t meet all those points then there is something you can do to compensate.

Soloing

If you’re not in a party then you absolutely need a hireling to keep you alive. Get a Cleric or Favoured Soul (or a Bard at a pinch) and they will usually keep you healed through any tough fights.

Buffs

It’s fairly easy to get buffs from potions and wands provided you make sure you smash every breakable chest, vase, urn, or other dungeon debris and collect everything that drops. This will give you a decent start of potions to use when times are hard. More potions and wands can be bought from vendors.

Gear

There’s not a lot you can do about this other than read up on what is required, search the auction house, beg, borrow and steal what you need.

Skilling Up

As yoiu get to higher levels it becomes increasingly necessayr to boost the primary skills required for your role. This chiefly affects rogues and artificers with the plethora of skills they use but also applies to anyone wanting to use Diplomacy, Concentration, Haggle, or Intimidate. Everyone can benefit from improving an array of additional skills that make dungeoneering easier: Balance, Jump, Spot, Search, and Swim.

Skills can be improved by wearing the right items, all of the following slots can be filled with the right gear to provide a bonus:

  • Head
  • Goggles
  • Necklace
  • Cloak
  • Bracers
  • Gloves
  • Belts
  • Boots
  • Rings
  • Trinkets

With such a wide variety of slots available it is easy to improve a number of skills. Bonuses to skill are a suffix on an item. e.g. Cloak of Hide +5. As usual, gear can be obtained through crafting, the auction house, or by opening chest in dungeons. Some named items can provide skill boosts to several skills at once e.g. Troubleshooter’s Goggles.

References:

Energy Resistance Gear

There are five important types of energy damage in the game:

  • Fire
  • Acid
  • Lightning
  • Cold
  • Sonic

There are other types of damage but the five above are the ones that can be protected against with gear. Traps and NPC spell casters are the main sources of energy damage but there are additional environmental effects like lava to be aware of.

Resistance gear will subtract the amount of resistance on the item from the energy damage taken. If you have lesser acid resistance and a Kobold Shaman hits you with a Melf’s Acid Arrow for eight points of damage every two seconds three will be stopped and you will only take five HP damage. Items come in five different strengths (substitute one of the types above for ‘[Energy]’):

  • Lesser [Energy] Resistance reduces damage by three
  • [Energy] Resistance reduces damage by ten
  • Improved [Energy] Resistance reduces damage by twenty
  • Greater [Energy] Resistance reduces damage by thirty
  • Superior[Energy] Resistance reduces damage by forty

The ‘Resist Energy’ and ‘Protection from Energy’ spells available to casters will block similar amounts but resistance items and speels do not stack, only the highest rating will be effective.

Only certain types of gear can be Energy Resistance items:

  • Armour
  • Cloaks
  • Rings
  • Shields

Unless you are a caster with the Resist Energy spell up it is vital to have set of items that will protect you from fire, acid and lightning damage as a minimum. NPC casters in dungeons as low as level four will use Lightning bolt for thirty to sixty plus damage and Melf’s Acid Arrow is another favourite at low levels. Without a Rogue or Artificer in the party the only way through many traps is to take the damage.

Gear can be found in dungeons, crafted, or bought from the auction houses (search for ‘resistance’). I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have some energy resistance, taking buckets of spell or trap damage is the numder one way to get oneshotted in the game, especially if you’re a squishy character without toughness or a high Constitution.

Reference: http://ddowiki.com/page/Energy_Resistance

Inventory

Open the inventory screen (I by default) to see that there are twelve spaces available to fill with gear plus two weapon spaces:

  • Trinket
  • Necklace
  • Head
  • Goggles
  • Cloak
  • Armour
  • Bracers
  • Belt
  • Left Ring
  • Right Ring
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Hand
  • Off-hand

You can drag gear items to the toolbars to allow you to quickly change from one item to another. There are a couple of things to watch out for though:

  • Only the right ring will be changed by clicking a ring on the toolbar
  • The off hand slot can only be changed using a weapon set

Weapon Sets

There are a num,ber of green spaces under your main inventory that allow you to create and change weapon sets. Drag a main and off hand weapon combination to a green space and then drag the space to a toolbar. Click on the toolbar to equip the weapon set. You an also use the mousewheel to change weapon sets although it is rather clunky.

Weapon sets can be either a two handed weapon, a weapon and shield, two weapons (you need the a feat to avoid penalties), a bow, a crossbow (and runearm if you are an artificer), or a wand and an off hand weapon, (you can’t use two wands unfortunately).

If you equip a bow or crossbow there is a space for a quiver and arrows that you’ll need to use too.

Starting Out Again

The main thing that most people do after starting out playing DDO is start again. DDO is a rather difficult game and it’s easy to make a few simple mistakes and mess up your first character with choices that would work fine in a pen and paper campaign but that will make for a great deal of difficulty later on. So the inevitable piece of advice is to reroll. Whith that in mind this levelling guide aims to help you out and avoid those crucial mistakes.

It’s assumed that you’ve played DDO for a little bit already and like the look and feel of the game but that you’ve managed to get stuck in some way, either not progressing, not being able to find suitable dungeons, or not being able to complete some dungeons. It’s alos assumed that you mostly want or need to solo play while levelling. If you’re more than happy to play in groups for all your gaming time then there’s a lot of things that will be much easier and some things that will be much harder.

First of all you’ll have to accept that you need to start a new character and that you probably won’t get to play your favourite pen and paper class. Classes in DDO play very differently due to the way the game is designed.

One of your first basic decision is wether you want to be a magic user or a melee character. The magic using classes are Wizard, Sorceror, Cleric, Artificer, Bard, and Favoured Soul. All the other ones are melee based to a lesser or greater extent. All characters are soloable but not all are very efficent. Once you’ve worked out what you want to play go and review this page and it’s links paying particular attention to the ‘Soloability by level’ entries: Revisiting paths: Builds for new players. Make sure you choose a class build that has a green soloability (with hireling if required) for the majority of levels 1-20. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Human Bard Warchanter
  • Human or Dwarf Cleric Warpriest of Siberys
  • Human or Dwarf Fighter Stalwart Soldier
  • Human or Dwarf Paladin Mighty Protector
  • Drow Paladin Truthbringer
  • Elf Ranger Arcane Archer
  • Human or Dwarf Ranger Tempest
  • Drow or Halfling Rogue Dark Blade with hireling
  • Warforged Sorceror with hireling
  • Warforged Wizard with hireling
  • Warforged artificer (not on the web page but needs to be mentioned)

All the other race and class combinations will struggle at some point and need to work in a party to progress. Do not, under any circumstances, consider multiclassing for your first serious character.

The next big decision is wether you want to spend money on playing the game. The short answer is that yes, you do. While it’s possible to play this game entirely free you will be repeating a lot of quests again and again and be restricted from joining many groups because they are running content that you do not have access to.

Instead, bite the bullet and subscribe to DDO, it gets you access to everything and 500 Turbine points every month to buy goodies with. After you’ve levelled your first character to level 20 then you can decide what you want to do in the future and you’ll have enough Turbine points to buy access to the content and goodies that you want. Review this link to see a summary of what content is pay to play: Reviews of all adventure packs.

The l;ast decision I’m going to cover is buying access to races, classes, and veteran status before starting out again. Certain races and classes require you to buy access to them before you can play them. Some of them can be gained through playing the game but I’ve never considered it worth the time, if I want to play a certain class/race then I want to do it from the beginning, not after grinding the game.

The Drow and Warforged races and the Artificer class are the most popular choices to buy and are required for some of the shortlist above.

Veteran status allows you to start new characters at level 4 or 7 with a full set of useful gear. If you play a lot of alt characters or have run the early content many times then this is worth considering.

That covers starting out, there’s a lot more to find out, open the references page here and review the links.