The Search for the Best Free MMO: Dungeons and Dragons Online
This will be the first of quite a few games I'll be reviewing that once required a monthly subscription, but have recently adopted the free to play with in-game store business model. DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) has a unique gameplay style, as you play, your adventures are narrated. The narrator tells you if your character can hear trolls in the next room for instance. A welcome warning, but you'll only get that warning if your listen skill is high enough.
The goal with the narration of course being to provide the same feel as if you were sitting in a room, playing a traditional game of D&D with a game master, and it works to a point. My only complaint is that I can't tell the game master that I want to try something unorthodox, and have him come up with some general rules for it on the spot. The D&D rule set is quite robust, and D&D online does an impressive job of replicating it, that being said there are some omissions, and minor tweaks to make the game translate more readily to a video game. Perhaps the most notable of which is a change to the cleave and great cleave skills, which now, instead of giving you a free attack after killing an opponent, has become an area of effect attack, hitting multiple targets at once.
The game doesn't waste any time introducing new players to the narrative style, directly after making your character, you're dropped off on a beach, shipwrecked, with no personal belongings, luckily for you there's a small group of people nearby who are all too willing to help, they get you some armor, and a weapon, but then drag you into their business, fighting off bloodthirsty monsters, and solving puzzles for this small group.Continued on the next page