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.