September 13, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons Online's Pay Wall: 32 Point Builds

Update: Here are the new-player builds, which are attainable with 28 base stat points.

A character planner tool is available here.
Read below for my bitching:

I have been playing the Free-to-Play (F2P) version of Dungeons and Dragons online for an hour this morning and I've come across a potential deal breaker: 32 point builds. As with any game I venture into, I look for guides and general information on the forums.

For DDO, I came across a great Character Builds forum, but could not figure out HOW to make any of the builds actually listed. All of them included four extra stat points that I did not seem to have access to in the character creator.

Long story short, players have to play with a throw away character, grind to 1750 Favor, and then re-roll a character that then gets 32 (instead of 28) base stat points to allocate. At first, I thought this was a limitation of the F2P model, but I quickly found out its a "feature". Yes, there is a "feature" in DDO that makes a player's first character something they will have to stop playing in order to re-roll a character with sufficient end-game stat points.

To add insult to this injury, Turbine's potential solution is to add the 32 points as a purchasable item in their cash shop.
At this time you still have to earn enough favor to unlock a 32 point build, however we are definitely discussing adding them in the store in the future.
Looking at the forums, this would be a huge hit with players. However, this absolutely disgusts me. Buying races and classes is fine, but paying for what SHOULD BE basic class building features is a game-killer.

However, the wound wasn't deep enough as Turbine pours salt in by forcing players to buy adventure packs to unlock enough quests which will allow a player to achieve enough favor to get the 32 base stat points. Guess what, DDO has a pay wall.

This may be a day one deal breaker for me. I don't want to waste my time on a character that is instantly perceived as weaker than the other players around him. I don't care what the counter-argument is. Bob gets 32. I get 28. That's four points I'm not getting for a character I am going to have to stop using once I've unlocked the next four points.

With all of this said, maybe I am over-reacting, as I've not invested enough time into figuring out the system and what is involved. There is still a bad taste in my mouth and I'm wasting time researching instead of playing.

Here's a tip for Turbine: F2P games fail because they become too fucking confusing.