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What is it that makes perfectly normal human beings threaten life and limb (with thromboids) and sit watching a brightly-coloured figure automatically hit thousands of things? As a psychologist (amateur – I read my horoscopes once a week), its my professional opinion that computer screens put out some form of pink radiation that hypnotises, sedates and stultifies the recipient. I cant find any other reason why people indulge in said overly repetitious avatar-based interaction, except perhaps the outlandish concept that they may derive pleasure from it. And Lineage 2, RF Online, Neocron 2, Shadowbane, The Sims Online and the execrably revamped Star Wars: Galaxies are all strong counter-examples to that.
If anything could break this chain, Dungeons & Dragons, with its Live Action Roleplay Heritage, is surely our solution. Recent games based on it, with the sole exception of Dragonshard (that shares the passable background world of Eberron with D&DO), have been excellent. Even if youve never played D&D, youll recognise the game system from this hall of fame: Baldurs Gate II, Planescape Torment, Neverwinter Nights. Well, D&DO feels, looks and plays just like them.
First off you get to do the most fun part of any MMO so far; create your character, in that timeless D&D manner thats been ripped off by everyone since, choosing your race and class, from dwarves, elves, hobbits and humans. Theres also an unexpected robot race, the Warforged, who are basically big terminators, tough as rock but bastard-hard to repair. Then you get to do the EA-patented facial moulding, haircuts and so on. (Its not up with City of Heroes in the costume department, but then nothing could be.) At this point you have the welcome choice of going with the auto-generated character or tweaking and customising all your characters stats, giving them new feats (like two-weapon fighting or diplomacy) and generally making them your own. Having chosen your profession, you venture out into the big bad world and fall flat on your face.
This pratfalls because D&DO makes no pretence at being a single-player game. You can do about, ooh, two missions after your training (which is wholesome, helpful and nicely plotted) before youll start getting beaten up by everything. Its not like its small rats either, its giant spiders, roving skeletons and robot dogs. You get beaten up because every quest is designed for an average of four people; a level one quest expects you to have four level one people with you. (The starting area also points up a big problem with D&DO, which many MMOs have suffered from; mid range PCs have dreadful performance when theres lots of people around. Of course, this wouldnt be a problem, except that the game includes taverns where you go to heal up, meet parties, and so forth which are therefore packed.)
The closest game is Guild Wars, NCSofts plot-driven semi-MMO. Like that wonderful work, D&DO is entirely driven through instanced missions, most of which are dungeons. This means whether you’re hunting down an errant baker, or recovering a lost book from a buried library, you’re never waiting for the thing to respawn, you’re not stymied by high-end PVPers standing in your way and you’re able to enjoy the carefully-plotted missions. (If you particularly like one, you can replay it on harder difficulty levels, increasing your rewards.) More importantly, instancing everything means that a mission can involve things like secret doors, traps, mazes, and friendly NPCs, and can contain proper plots that develop throughout its length. As some dungeons also lock you in and there’s no health or mana regeneration, it also means no-one can afford to rush headlong into the fray; each mission is about balancing your resources and working out whether you can afford to spend them in a certain way at a certain point.
This means that, more than any other MMO, D&DO is about playing a role. Not roleplaying, though theres a cabal of foppery and forced Cornish accents around; “playing a role”; doing the thing that your class does best. Indeed, with the aforementioned freedom of customisation, the thing your homemade character does best. Rogues scout ahead, assassinate dangerous characters, find traps and secret doors, and deal with them, Rangers snipe and talk to the animals, Bards wail enchanting dirges like Thom Yorke before theyre bound and gagged, and Barbarians charge headlong at the most dangerous enemies screaming Scandinavian epithets.
And everyone fights. Fighting isnt simply hit the auto-attack button and occasionally buff your character. Depending on your characters abilities, you can roll, sidestep, jump and block, all of which affect how hard you are to hit and how much damage you do. This counts for both you and the AI enemies, as does ganging-up and the type of weapon in use – it pays to carry a variety of blades, cudgels, enchanted implements, and stabby-stabby things to slice, bludgeon, and pierce differently resistant bads. Moreover, the auto-attack function is slower than your own clicks, so it pays you to take part and take care in combat. Where WOW is like Connect 4, a solved game, D&D is not always predictable and relies on you swinging, dodging and blocking at the right times. That’s right, like the long-mourned Planetside, it’s about skill!
As you get no experience from fighting enemies, only from completing quests, the game also becomes more tactical; you don’t absolutely, positively have to kill every mofo in the dungeon. Its about different paths to success. For one mission I teamed up with just another rogue, and we got through it without having to kill anything (aside from backstabbing sleeping kobolds for target practice, which doesnt count). Even more pacifist parties could simply sleep and charm every enemy, except the mission-critical ones.
Its when you get to your first level, which takes an age, that you realise how true to D&D this is beneath the surface. All those skills and feats from Neverwinter Nights are still in there. Moreover, each level is divided into three ranks, each of whichll take a good few quests to get through. It takes time, yes, but you feel much more rewarded than you do from MMOs that throw your first twenty levels at you, then expect you to spend six months getting the next twenty. (Not that were criticising World of Warcraft; its an excellent methadone substitute.) When you do level up, you dont have to stick with the class youve taken, you can multi-class. Whether you want to redress some imbalances in your character or because you have some cunning combination in mind, this gives you the chance to continue developing your character, without having to plough back through the training levels again.
We weren’t sure about D&D at first; we’ve always soloed in MMOs and for the first three hours we just died alone, over and over. But this is the ultimate group game, and in a group the plot elements, wonderfully varied missions, and teamplay really pay off. As long as the team keep rolling out the promised content updates, we’ll keep playing it. Sure, there are flaws and the lack of any soloing capability, the occasional difficulty in finding groups, as well as the apparent slowness of levelling get irritating, but they’re nothing in the face of what it does properly. The hypnotic light from the screen helps pass the time as well…
More about Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
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Dungeons & Dragons Online
Dungeons & Dragons Online (or DDO) is the MMORPG counterpart to the pen-and-paper game we all know and love (mostly based on edition 3.5). As such, it has all the dice-rolling, kobold-smacking goodness of Dungeons and Dragons, with all the button-mashing, leet-speaking addiction of an MMORPG.
It was launched by Turbine in 2006 as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. The game has since been renamed Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. (The latest update appears to have removed Eberron Unlimited from the logo, but is still referred to as such in reference materials and on the main website.) It is based in the campaign world of Eberron (yeah, the Magitek one ) and is set on the fictional continent of Xen’drik. After years of being a pay-to-play game, it was rebranded as a free-to-play game with premium content that could be accessed by becoming a VIP (which is simply maintaining a paid subscription) or spending Turbine Points on it. The player character is initially thrust into a plot that involves an evil Devourer cult, sahuagin, a dragon, and a lot of snow.
As of June 2012, an Expansion Pack was released that introduced epic levels and allows players to adventure in the Forgotten Realms . And There Was Much Rejoicing indeed.
For additional examples, see Eberron for the general setting, and the Dungeons and Dragons page for general gameplay tropes.
Contains examples of:
- Absurd Altitude : If you’re running the Vault of Night raid and have a newbie in group, tell them it’s tradition to cast or put on an item with feather fall and jump off the side after you’ve finished. You’re so high up you can see the curvature of Eberron itself. You invariably float down to the Marketplace, but about 10 feet off the ground – whether you’re under the effects of feather fall or not – you die. Yes, this does make you a giant troll, but the view is incredible.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade : Vorpal weapons.
- Update 29 wildly changed this with randomized loot  ; now the Vorpal prefix can apply to any melee or ranged weapon, even on minimum level 1, including blunt weapons like maces…and even handwraps, so your punch is so sharp it can literally cut someone’s head off.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer : ALL of them! Why else would there be monsters down there for you to kill?
- Somewhat justified, in that Stormreach is built on the ruins of a Giant civilisation
- Actual Pacifist : You get bonus experience for completing a quest without killing anything. Good luck with that .
- All jokes aside, a select handful of quests are uniquely suited for evading all the mooks with Invisibility and/or Dimension Door, allowing one to run them very quickly and collect that bonus. Also, the quest called “Frame Work” has some amusing variable dialogue depending on how covert or omnicidal you were.
- Adaptational Badass : The Lord of Blades is much stronger than he is in the main setting .
- Adjective Animal Alehouse : The Wayward Lobster and The One-Eared Bugbear Inn.
- Alien Sky : Xoriat, Dal Quor, and the Demonweb. Xoriat has red clouds everywhere, and space seems to be rippling. Dal Quor looks like space with a purple tint to it and with buildings floating around. The Demonweb is a purple void with occasional red “stars” and bits of rock connected by webbing.
- All Monks Know Kung-Fu : The Monk class can follow two prestige paths, both a type of Warrior Monk where you are a Whirling Dervish of punching destruction or a serious bane to undead or extra-planar creatures with some Cleric abilities. The Monks have it cool by using Ki Attacks and not spellpoints (mana) to power their elemental and special attacks.
- All Trolls Are Different : These ones are tall, green, have tusks, and regenerate from anything and everything unless you hit them with a dose of fire or acid after knocking them out.
- Allegedly Free Game : Theoretically playable for free after about level 12… but only if you’re willing to do a lot of grinding. Or suffer from major Alt-itis . Which is quite likely.
- Mind you, you will probably accumulate enough Turbine Points by then to buy an adventure pack. Also,with the new Lordsmarch Plaza free to play chain and some high level free to play quests afer that,you can get that number higher.
- An Adventurer Is You : And everyone ELSE, too! Including several of the NPCs, apparently , but they’re worse at it than you are.
- Annoying Arrows : Enemies with ranged attacks are pretty pathetic compared to enemy spellcasters. You can take several arrows to the face and keep going, relying on your magical equipment and lots of hitpoints to keep you alive, but there’s not a lot that can save a low-medium level character from a Disintegrate, Harm, or Touch of Death spell.
- Another Dimension : Shavarath, Xoriat, Dal Quor, and a couple of demiplanes are all accessible as part of quests.
- As of the new expansion, the Demonweb is also accessible.
- Anti-Frustration Features : Several.
- Hirelings will automatically cast whatever they think is useful so you often don’t need to micromanage them. They will also automatically use rest and resurrection shrines if they need to. They can also teleport directly to you if they get lost, and they don’t count as a death so you’re not penalized if one stands in a trap too long.
- Most quests with one exception include a bow and a few arrows near the parts that require you to hit a ranged target lever to open a gate or lower a bridge just in case you don’t have one.
- Completing any quest chain that gives unique rewards three times will let you pick from all of the unique items instead of the usual random list.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit : You can only fit 6 people into a typical party quest. For raids, you’re allowed 12 heads.
- The game tries to justify that in one raid, Zawabi’s Revenge, in which the Djinn that teleports you to the quest asserts he only has energy to transport 12 people into the Demon Queen’s refuge.
- You’ll need all of them too. It’s a 12th level raid, and the end boss is level 22.
- The game tries to justify that in one raid, Zawabi’s Revenge, in which the Djinn that teleports you to the quest asserts he only has energy to transport 12 people into the Demon Queen’s refuge.
- Arm Cannon : The Artificers’ Rune Arms.
- Autobots, Rock Out! : Some of the battle themes in the Maleficent Cabal Chain. Most prominent in “Under The Big Top”.
- Back Stab : The Sneak Attack ability is pretty much the only way for a rogue to do damage. But when they do…
- Glass Cannon : Rogues do terrifying amounts of damage when they’re allowed to exploit their full attack output.
- Bag of Holding : Including sew-on pockets that can hold fifteen sets of plate mail. And then you can get another inventory page by paying an NPC to craft a broken Portable Hole into a literal pocket dimension.
- There are also bags for holding crafting ingredients, gems, and collectables looted from mobs, so that you can save on inventory space.
- Ball of Light Transformation : The game features Ghaele Eladrin that can take the shape of a lantern archon.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind : Comes in the quests “Finding the Path” and “I Dream of Jeets”, and also comes in the final boss battle of the Harbinger of Madness chain.
- Big Bad : None, really, but the closest the game has are Horoth, the Black Abbot, the Stormreaver, the Devourer of Dreams, and Lolth.
- The Big Guy : The melee classes: Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, and (to a lesser extent, it depends on the build) Monk. Clerics have a bunch of Hit Points and good armor, and shields, too.
- Blackout Basement : The quest “Rainbow in the Dark”, where the only source of light is a scepter that you have to carry to the end of the dungeon. You can use certain attack spells and Runearm blasts to light the way.
- Body Horror : The Harbinger of Madness chain is centered around strange creatures called the Taken. While they look creepy enough on their own, it gets worse when you learn how they’re made. They were created by a Mindflayer “Artist” who crafted them out of kidnapped Stormreach citizens.
- Boss Arena Idiocy : Justified Trope as you do not fight her in her home base but in a place she invaded, but the room where you fight the Medusa Ambassador in a mid-level quest has a mirror in it, hidden behind a sliding panel, you can lure her there, with predictable results .
- Boss Subtitles : Most named enemies have a subtitle under their names, some of them quite funny.
- Brainwashed and Crazy : Happens a few times.
- The Cultists in the Korthos Island chain.
- And their dragon. Upon being freed, she kills her controller and leaves.
- Near the end of the Maleficent Cabal chain, Yewil d’Phiarlan and her troops are victim to this, and eventually Die As Themselves .
- The Silver Flame agents who were sent into the Cursed Crypt. Also, if you linger too long in there, the player characters.
- You find out that this is the case after picking up the first journal in Let Sleeping Dust Lie with regards to the Crimson Feet.
- The cultists in Lords of Dust.
- Silver Flame agents again in Wrath of the Flame. By the same person who brainwashed Yewil back in the Big Top.
- Pretty much any and all Inspired .
- And finally, in a late-game raid, the Lord of Blades himself, by quori. Though he likely would have tried to kill you on his own anyway.
- The Cultists in the Korthos Island chain.
- Breast Plate : Averted for the most part; armor for characters in general tends to look more or less the same whether you’re playing a guy or a girl. The Armor Appearance kits, on the other hand…
- After the update that turned the game into Eberron Unlimited, a number of these kind of armors have shown up for female characters. They even vary in… erm, “capacity” depending on race.
- Breath Weapon : Artificer Iron Defender pets have a fire and acid variation. Characters with the Draconic Incarnation Epic Destiny can also learn a Dragon Breath attack.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory : Costly flippin’ skill books…
- Special classes, races, and other features like Veteran Status can be unlocked by raising your favor with various factions, but you can also buy them off the DDO Store.
- Call-Back : When Gnomon reveals his true intentions, he mentions causing damage by killing innocents and attacking other religions. Why is this a callback? One of the earlier quests involve him ordering you to kill a group of Sovereign Host followers, calling them heretics.
- Changing Clothes Is a Free Action : Switching armor takes time but swapping between or to robes and outfits is instantaneous.
- Character Alignment : This matters if you want to use armor of stability (which requires a True Neutral alignment) or a True Law/True Chaos/Pure Good weapon. Or if you’re dealing with something capable of dealing alignment damage. Or if you want to be a Paladin/Bard (you can’t; paladins must be Lawful Good , bards must be nonlawful.)
- Evil items will give you a permanent negative level until you take them off, unless you are of neutral alignment.
- Character Customization : Stat-wise, this is one of the most flexible games on the market. Appearance-wise… maybe not so much.
- Circus of Fear : A quest line set in the House Phiarlan Quarter concludes with you visiting a travelling carnival…which happens to be run by Devils.
- Class and Level System : Much like D&D 3.5 core.
- Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity :
- Jumping (or getting thrown) off of the top of Tempest Spine while wearing a feather-falling item can make you float a really long way. Jumping (or getting thrown) off of the top of Tempest Spire while NOT wearing a feather-falling item can make you die from falling damage, and your teammates are going to be reluctant to come pick up your corpse so you can get your loot, because it is a long way back up, and likely involves running past fields of fire elementals.
- The Coalescence Chamber in the Vale of Twilight, filled with several very deep shafts, will make the best of friends want to tear each other’s throat out and pick-up groups wind up with squelching angry, inexperienced and frustrated players about 90% of the time.
- Compelling Voice : Bards. Compelling enemies to sit still and listen to your lute ( which doesn’t even appear in your inventory, let alone contribute to encumbrance ), to compelling your allies to feats of Heroism. Also, the Charm/Dominate Person/Monster spells, and Suggestion.
- Players can earn the items “Voice of the Master” and “Mantle of the Worldshaper” from the quests that the D&D creators narrated. Worn together, the player receives the True Seeing ability (Hello, hidden doors!).
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard : At least in terms of computer-controlled casters. They have no spellpoints bar and seem to ignore the cooldown rules on spells that limit a player’s spell use, especially obnoxious when the computer caster in question is a healer who can full-heal quickly with their infinite violating the Vancian Magic rule with unlimited spell points. Damage almost never interrupts their spells, either, as if enemies have all of their spells quickened .
- In a somewhat related note, computer-controlled ally Hirelings have no metamagic feats and thus can’t improve any of their spells in a pinch.
- Hirelings also DO have spell point bars, though typically slightly higher than player characters. The end result? Enemies have unlimited spells, but your party has a cut-off.
- They do however, seem to have truckloads of potions.
- Enemy archers never run out of ammunition and maintain a rate of fire that only repeating crossbows can compete with, and they can target invisible characters by sound.
- In a somewhat related note, computer-controlled ally Hirelings have no metamagic feats and thus can’t improve any of their spells in a pinch.
- Convection Schmonvection : Swimming IN lava causes a moderate amount of fire damage, but nothing serious. But walking right next to it (or on those METALLIC catwalks in the Firebrand Mines and Burning City) seems to have no ill effects.
- Creator Cameo : Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson are the DM/narrators in two different series of quests.
- Death Is Cheap : Well, except for when it comes to your equipment.
- Death becomes less cheap when there’s no healer and no resurrection shrine nearby. In that case, the only way to revive yourself on the spot is to buy an item from the DDO store .
- Does This Remind You of Anything? / Double Entendre :
- The world “Melf” in Melf’s Acid Arrow tends to be spelled with the wrong vowel.
- Lars Heyton in Redemption: “We beat them off… this time.”
- Jeets Shimis (speaking to the female cleric Cellimas): “Ha, I still got plenty of stamina! I can go all night long!” Jeets in general has a lot of things to say similar to this, usually related to Cellimas. “Tell her to keep her knickers on.” “Don’t worry, Cellimas. I’m here to watch your behind, now.”
- And he is a halfling, so his eyes are at just the right level
- Dual Wielding : Basically the whole point of a melee-based ranger. Any class can do this to varying degrees of success.
- Dump Stat : Every class will have to pick one if they want to be the best at what they do. However there is a number one rule of character builds that all veteran players agree upon: “Con(stitution) is NOT a dump stat” for any class, due to hitpoints being extremely important for fighting (and sometimes the only defense against) high level monsters.
- Dungeon Crawling : Or, with the tumble skill, dungeon rolling or even dungeon backflipping!
- Dungeon Punk : With a late 2011 update, the world of Eberron reemphasized how Dungeon Punky it is by now filling it with gadgeteers of gears and magic: The Artificer class.
- Eldritch Location : Xoriat, Dal Quor and the Demonweb all have weird skies and lack a real surface.
- Elemental Powers : Sorcerers and Druids can specialize in an elemental power. Likewise, Monks can go at it “Avatar”-style through attacks and stances that channel Air, Earth, Wind and Fire.
- Elite Mooks : There seems to be a couple of these in every major dungeon. Commonly referred to by the players as “nameds,” or “named monsters” because they have a name and a treasure box.
- Can be more specifically referred to as “orange-” or, in higher levels, “red-names”. Reds are normally “bosses,” in the sense that they command the other enemies. Most of them are just Pallet Swaps or regular Mooks.
- Champion mooks, who are granted a random buff, all of them include extra damage. A random concentration of two or three champions can be more deadly than a Boss Battle . And may the Flame have mercy on you if you stumbled on an orange named Champion.
- Enemy Mine : Pretty much the entire storyline in the Necropolis quests regarding The Emerald Claw and the Silver Flame .
- Escort Mission :
- The crazed, ineffective magic attacks of Coyle, a non-player character you must protect for 15 eternally-long minutes in a Ruins of Threnal quest chain. If he dies, you fail the quest. Keeping the little bastard from attracting any attention that will get himself killed was made a little easier when the game developers allowed players to give Coyle a Tap on the Head as required.
- Gladewatch Outpost Defense involves protecting the captain of a defense regiment while she defends the outpost from attacking goblinoids and ogres. Oh yeah, and she left her soldiers at home too, so it’s just your team and her. Make sure to have at least two healers, since she tends to run off to attack whenever a new enemy spawns. You can try to talk her out of it, but even then you have to make sure she doesn’t see anything hostile on the way to wherever you’re hiding her.
- In many of the more recently-added quests, the developers have trended toward escortees who can fight or make themselves invincible, but not both at once. Your character can even say in dialogue on one occasion, “I dislike escort missions. They always die too easily or fall off ledges and there’s nothing I can do about it,” to which the VIP outright tells you not to worry about his safety.
- Fake Balance : Rogues get the shallow end of the DPS pool. Sure, sneak attack can do some massive damage, but it doesn’t catch up to a fighter’s damage output until about level 12, and even then it doesn’t work against undead, elementals, oozes, constucts, an enemy with a Fortification (depending on how much it gives) item, or other human players in 1-on-1 PvP .
- Fanservice Pack : Game updates in late 2010 added armor kits, which allows a player to make their character’s armor or clothing more cosmetically exciting, intimidating, or attractive. Female outfits and robes often (among other things) Bare Your Midriff , add a Cleavage Window , or grant a Leotardof Power .
- Five Races : Eight, actually: Humans, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, Warforged, Drow ( which are like other elves, but with more stat boosts ), half-orcs and half-elves .
- Gadgeteer Genius : The Artificer class.
- Game Master : A well-voiced narration to help set the tone.
- One of the quest areas is even GM’d by Gary Gygax himself, and another by fellow D&D creator Dave Arneson.
- Goggles Do Nothing : As of Update 22, you can visually show off goggles over your character’s forehead.
- Golem : the Warforged race, a living construct that (paying) players can choose to use. Not-so-nice golems populate the dungeons as well.
- Go Look at the Distraction :
- The Intimidate skill. Technically more of a “come here and look at me distracting you,” but still.
- Would be more suited to the Diplomacy skill. “Hey, here’s a great idea. Go lodge your axe in my friend’s skull instead.”
- Bluff fits even better; it works even when you’re alone. Also the best skill for Rogues, because it opens up the target to Sneak Attacks.
- Good Is Dumb : In the case of the Catacombs, a crypt under the tower of the Silver Flame. You’d think a church dedicated to destroying the undead could deal with an undead infestation in their basement, but no, it’s time to call in the adventurers. Adventurers who, by the way, are likely to destroy each and every sarcophagus they find so they get more experience points, and will expect you to pay them with expensive magic items when they’re done.
- The Silver Flame is a bit of a Corrupt Church in places, mired in their own bureaucracy that hobbles them from working as well or as effectively as they could.
- The Good Is Dumb trope is actually lampshaded by Archbishop Dryden, who refers to the guards as “quarter-wits.” At the time he was possessed by his wraith brother, so we don’t know how valid this statement is.
- They also had a rakshasa in their ranks for several years, and no one had a clue.
- Gotta Catch ‘Em All : Collectibles, trade-able items, quests, favor… take your pick.
- Highly Visible Ninja : If your teammate is using the Hide command, you see them crouching with their avatar slightly darkened. Also, some enemies will use the Sneak command, with almost no effect due to their pitiful skill checks; you can still target them and hit them just fine.
- Hit Points : Notably changed from the paper-and-pencil version in that every character starts with the Heroic Durability feat, granting 20 hit points. Toughness’s effect is also increased from just 3 HP to 3 HP at 1st level and 1 HP every level thereafter, without losing the stacking ability of the original.
- Humanoid Abomination : Belashyrra, one of the daelkyr, appears as an Arc Villain . He looks like a man with long blond hair, but he’s covered in chitin armor and speaks in a distorted double voice.
- Most of the Quori are also this.
- Hyperactive Metabolism : Averted. You’ll heal hitpoints and mana naturally when standing around in Stormreach city, but you can drastically increase your regeneration rate for a couple minutes by eating food and drinking juice. Or consuming oil, if you’re a Warforged.
- Ingesting Knowledge : Until a recent update, your character used stat-enhancing books pretty much exactly like this.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence : Averted by the characters’ ability to jump, or clamber over shorter objects like large crates. Occasionally played straight as part of an…
- Interface Screw : Being affected by blindness also turns your view of the game world entirely black. You can still otherwise play normally and navigate with the minimap. In old versions many years back, blindness was permanent until magically cured, so you could occasionally find blinded adventurers stumbling around Stormreach.
- Invisible Wall : There are some places in Stormreach harbor or marketplace that you just can’t get your character to go, despite logic. This was made especially evident when Turbine released the Head In The Clouds festive buff; your character can jump insanely high, but if you jump too high you hit your head on Stormreach’s invisible ceiling.
- Involuntary Dance : The Otto’s dance line of spells: Resistible, Irresistible, and Sphere of Dancing. Nearly all creatures with minds (including the player characters) can be affected by it.
- Kamehame Hadoken : An Epic Destiny for epic players in the new expansion, Menace of the Underdark, allows powerful ranged Ki Attacks . Later updates also allow a new Monk class tree, the Henshin Mystic, to weaponize ki this way (albeit not as dramatically as Son Goku).
- Killer Rabbit : Dogs and wolves are surprisingly deadly, and wolves are even cute furballs. More Hit Point than the average mook, hitting like trucks, and possessing a trip attack capable of causing you to Pratfall at which point you are helpless for a second or two. At equivalent levels, it means dogs and wolves are more dangerous than The Legions of Hell themselves.
- Kill It with Fire : Neophyte spell-casting adventurers will throw Walls of Fire at the blink of an eye. That’s fine and all until they realize that the enemy AI sets its sights on them and squishes them flat. Not a tactic against Iron Golems (fire heals them) or Devils and Demons (they eat fire for breakfast).
- Knight Templar : Inquisitor Gnomon of the Silver Flame. He has characters wipe out a shrine to the Sovereign Host. Turns out that he’s actually a powerful rakshasa working for the Lords of Dust who has been trying to ruin the Silver Flame from within.
- Large Ham : Lars Heyton coincidentally has the same initials as this trope. “Sahuagin SCUM! Keep coming, I won’t die that easily!”
- The DM for the new version of Heyton’s Rest is also quite given to hammery.
- Leeroy Jenkins : Player characters that do a Leeroy in a quest are likely to get themselves (and any guild they represent) a blackballing reputation. While in a quest, a party leader can’t dismiss a player, but others may choose not to heal the offending player or even carry his Soulstone (death token) to where he has a chance to revive.
- The Legions of Hell : The Devil Legions. In fact, the same type of devil in that page’s image appear here.
- Le Parkour :
- Running around on top of the buildings in the Stormreach marketplace can be kinda fun, and it’s an integral part of the Easter event’s egg hunt. It more or less requires a Feather Fall effect of some kind, though.
- Players with light or no armor and high Jump skills often use this way to get about town very quickly. For Monks, it fits their Wuxia style, obviously.
- Level Grinding : Thankfully, every character gets bonus experience for doing a quest on any difficulty the first time, and most quests come with 3 or 4 difficulty levels to shake things up a little bit. You also get bonus XP for Breaking everything you can , killing everything you can , not killing anything , not dying, not leaving the quest until it’s done, and disabling traps/finding secret doors.
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards : Just like the original DnD; Fighters (and the like) start off doing respectable damage that increases slowly over time, while wizards go from their 1d6 Magic Missile damage to spamming Quickened Meteor Swarm for 4 times 8d6 damage twice a second, not to mention the crapton of damage boosts they get by that point.
- This does switch around every few updates or so as new content is released: at one point, having more than one arcane caster in a raid (out of 12 participants) was considered a waste of a DPS slot, being relegated to crowd-control duties.
- An alternative is one who decided to start as Necromancer (Wizard sub-class), not only can they summon Skeletal Knight via Pale Master skill tree, the Command Undead spell acquired from LV2 Archmage Skill Tree specialization can be repeatedly used at a very low cost, more than enough to arrange a Zerg Rush or pacify a hallway of undead enemies. And above all, you have access to spells such as Shroud of Zombie, which turns you into undead and makes you immune to all kind of poisons , and by poisons, this includes poison gas traps that would normally kill you in one spray in dungeons of higher difficulty.
- Literally Shattered Lives : The common fate of enemies who die to a cold weapon or cold-related spell.
- The Lost Woods : The King’s Forest. the Storm Horns and, minus a lot of woods, the Underdark.
- MacGuffin : The entire game is filled with enough of these for an adventurer to open their own shop. From the early-level Seal of Shan-to-Kor, to the three artifacts for the Demon Queen, to the ridiculous Sigil Frame of eight pieces in the last Necropolis quest, this game lives and breathes this stuff.
- Some of the objects actually do stuff, and others are just valuable.
- Mad Artist : The main antagonist of the Harbinger of Madness series is a Mindflayer artist, Yaulthoon, who specializes in making sculptures…by turning kidnapped Stormreach citizens into monsters called the Taken.
- Made of Explodium : Lots of stuff.
- Trap boxes explode if you fail badly enough when trying to disarm them, certain barrels will explode if you hit them with anything (including but not limited to: your fists, swords or clubs, arrows, crossbow bolts, shurikens, and elemental magic (even ice magic ), symbols of fire ignite if you go anywhere near them, and if you kill an enemy with a fire attack, its corpse will light on fire and burn away. Frozen enemies explode into ice fragments.
- In the “Irestone Inlet” quest, you rig a boat with barrels of gunpowder and light the fuse. It’s even possible to do this without the guards on board realizing you’re there. Oh, and if you’re standing too close to the boat when it blows up, the shockwave pushes you away.
- Players in the quest “Siegebreaker” encounter an entire room filled with explosive barrels that cascade their explosions. There are two HUGE super-barrels that will outright kill anyone on exploding if the player is on the same plane of the things. The Dungeon Master voice puts a light on this humorously.
- Also the “Blown to Bits” quest, where the crates of weapons get Exactly What It Says on the Tin . Even has an optional golem boss who offensively uses mines.
- Magitek : The cranes in Stormreach Harbor in Eberron, for instance. Also pretty much every light source in the game, except the sun and a few fire pits.
- Mana Potion : The rather expensive Potions of Mnemonic Enhancement, which restore your Spell Points.
- Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest :
- The Slayer bonus, which gives you experience for killing X amount of enemies in a wilderness instance.
- Certain dungeon quests, such as “The Butcher’s Path,” will also have you killing X amount of monsters as one of your objectives on the quest, either as a main objective, or as an optional objective for extra experience.
- The later-released Monster Manual provides you with bonus EXP and Turbine Points for killing certain amounts of certain types of monsters.
- Master Poisoner : The Ninja Spy has its own brand of deadly damage-over-time poison that even works on bosses.
- Meat Moss : Shows up often in quests where the Plane of Xoriat is involved.
- Mechanical Lifeforms :
- The Warforged, created and given souls by ancient and vaguely defined magic .
- There’s also the Iron Defenders, which Artificers get as pets, and which you fight every now and then.
- The Medic : Don’t leave Stormreach without one. If an enemy comes with his own healer, he’s FIRST on your list to kill .
- Min-Maxing :
- Half-elves, having the incontestably ugliest face models in the game and looking like creepy dolls, and being able get limited abilities from classes in which they don’t have levels, such as having a pure fighter casting divine scrolls or getting full monk bonus to healing amplification. They’re basically a munchkin’s wet dream.
- Find a full-cleric with more than 14 intelligence. Go on, try.
- Non-divine Drow spellcasters. +2 to intelligence and charisma? They’re popular for a reason. Actually, even Clerics might want to play a drow, since they’ll get another turning check.
- Leads to some amusement when a DDO player also plays tabletop D&D, as if they forget which system they’re building for they’ll turn up with a character sheet that is completely inappropriate for a tabletop game (e.g. a healbot cleric with no strength or combat ability).
- Mr. Smith : In the quest “Missing”, the prime suspect of a series of disappearances is a Warforged wearing a hat named Mister Smythe. He is actually a Beholder wearing a Warforged costume.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! : The defeat of the Black Abbot (Necropolis Part Four) is what sets the events of The Thirteenth Eclipse story arc in motion.
- The following counts, in a way. Inquisitor Gnomon urges you to kill followers of the Sovereign Host, calling them heretics . Then, in a more recent update, you accompany him on a trip to a cult base. Turns out that he’s actually one of the “Lords of Dust”, and that he used his position in the Silver Flame to distract them from the cult’s actions, and to cause damage by attacking innocents and those of other religions.
- Another example from the quest “Acute Delirium”. After retrieving Belashyrra’s Scepter, you must use it to close a Xoriat Portal that was opened earlier. However, it backfires and opens a portal to Belashyrra’s prison in Khyber, allowing him to escape. The only way to complete the quest is to give him the Scepter so that he can wreak havoc upon Eberron.
- No OSHA Compliance : House Deneith’s trash incinerator, “The Pit,” is a multi-level subterranean building dug out around two Lava Pits , which are inhabited by man- and equipment-eating Oozes. The only way to move from one level to the other is to use a network of twisting, railing-less walkways that extend across the lava pits. In addition, the system’s “Security System” is really just a series of deadly traps that blast said narrow walkways at 10-second intervals. The system is electrically powered, and the circuit breakers inexplicably channel the electricity through the room they’re housed in. In addition, if you turn the trash incinerating furnaces on in the wrong order, you’ll blow up half the city. (You can’t do this because the rooms unlock in order, but it’s stated in the quest introduction )
- Not the Fall That Kills You :
- Using a Feather Fall spell or wearing a feather-falling item lets you avoid falling damage. So does grabbing a ledge or ladder or landing in water more than 7 feet deep .
- The Monk class gets off easier here with their Slow Fall feat that’s automatically given as they level. By the time they are level 20, they can fall any distance without any damage , Feather Fall item or no.
- One-Hit Kill : Any of the dozen or so death effect spells, like Finger of Death, Destruction, and Implosion . The Grandmaster of Flowers epic destiny also has the power “Everything is Nothing,” which allows you to quite literally rip your enemies out of the multiverse, killing them instantly . Should the save be made, they still take 1000 points of damage, and must save again in order to reduce that damage to 500. Bosses can’t be blown out of reality, but they do take the damage.
- There are also vorpal, slaying, banishing, smiting, and disruption weapons that kill most mooks of the appropriate type outright or deal a thousand bonus damage to others.
- Opening the Sandbox : You leave Korthos and get to Stormreach, and BAM! Look how many quests are suddenly available to you! Then, you play through all the free stuff, and if you decide to upgrade to a premium account, look at how many MORE dungeons you can buy !
- Optional Stealth : A low-level quest is called “Stealthy Repossession”, and involves stealing a special gemstone back from kobolds without killing more than a few kobold prophets. Appropriately built classes can sneak the entire way through, but other classes have little choice but to madly blitz through the dungeon, or else play normally but carefully kill every kobold except the prophets. A handful of other quests become easier with some stealth, but are never impossible without it.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same : Short, bearded, gruff people who like beer and digging. Except perhaps for the Duergar, who will kill you on sight.
- Oddly, most NPC dwarves in Stormreach have no facial hair at all and are quite polite. The lore for them plays this straight, though.
- Our Elves Are Better : Playing a drow for any non-melee-combat-specialized class is what you might call optimized, since they receive more bonus stats than they lose (all other races’ stats balance out).
- Oxygen Meter : Used when you swim. Wearing an amulet or ring of Underwater Action gives you Super Not-Drowning Skills .
- Warforged have Super Not-Drowning Skills as a racial ability: They don’t have lungs, and therefore don’t need to breathe.
- Unfortunate players may often find their chest loot filled with Underwater Action items that are racially restricted to Warforged. Thankfully, players now have access to an Item Crafting area to crunch these things into a fine powder.
- Or just have a high enough Use Magical Device score to ignore the racial restriction.
- Permanently Missable Content :
- You get one and only one ember weapon per character, and they’re non-tradeable. Here’s hoping you have some other way to attack with fire or acid when you finally meet some trolls.
- Finish Misery’s Peak you only get one shot at the end rewards, which are the second half of a two set piece that gives a class related bonus depending on which one you pick. Choose wisely, because you can’t trade your pick in for a different set.
- In a more abstract way, your starting stats. Put too much strength on your wizard? Well, you can either start over or buy a Heart of Wood (rerolling token) and fix those stats.
- Poison Is Evil : The Spinner of Shadows has poison so deadly that death is certain without the help of an ethereal flame inside her prison. Other enemies have some nasty poison attacks. Averted with the Ninja Spy and some spell casters, who use their poison on the side of good.
- Power Creep : The game was released more than a decade ago (in 2006) and has multiple expansions, so this is inevitable. Because the level range of the game hasn’t changed significantly, this has manifested mainly in the loot (both random and unique) getting more and more powerful over time compared to older items at the same level. This is most obvious in the case of extremely old adventure packs and quest chains that haven’t been revisited or touched up – The unique end rewards for Halls of Shan-To-Kor (one of the oldest packs) were competitive or superior at the time the pack was released and were intended for level 3-5 players, but are now seriously outclassed by items acquired on the tutorial island as random drops.
- Physical God : Lolth, who managed to smash a hole in reality between Eberron and the Forgotten Realms, breaching Silver Flame wards in the process. Also, the top few members of the Devil Legions could qualify, since while not actually gods they are immortal beings of incredible power.
- Platform Hell :
- “The Pit” quest, again. Two rooms involve platform puzzles. One involves running around on pipes while jets of steam push you backwards and fire elementals shoot at you, but is relatively easy if you are prepared for it. The other one involves co-ordinating at least four team members, two of whom must be simply ludicrous at platforming (jumping some 15 feet horizontally to catch some crosswise pipes and pull yourself up) while your friends on the ground deal with equipment-eating oozes that respawn indefinitely while manipulating the correct valves for the platforming team. Also, if you get hit while using a valve, your action stops. Oozes are immune to almost all status effects and most elemental magic ( varies by color )? Oh, and watch out for the hobgoblins with bows, and the room at the top that’s full of exploding barrels an ooze drops down in that room and tries to attack you, occasionally igniting the boxes.
- As stated above, “The Coalescence Chamber.” You have to navigate up a winding spiral of narrow ledges while being assaulted by troglodyte snipers and sorcerers. The real pain in the ass here is that jumping will sometimes cause you to be pushed away from the ledge, resulting in a hair-tearing plummet all the way back down to the bottom. Note that it’s usually impossible to make your way back up without help from fellow party members because the monsters respawn.
- “The Tear of Dhakaan” also has a couple platform sections… with most of the platforms trapped. Imagine the surprise of many players who, going in for the first time, realized that their first leap landed them in the middle of an acid spewer.
- Prestige Class : Just a few of them, and they aren’t technically classes , but you can use your action points from levelling up to specialize in one of your class’ abilities.
- The Underdark update added Epic Destinies, “mini-classes” that provide powerful abilities, which are available to characters level 20-25.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender : Naturally, this causes several male players to create female characters.
- Religion of Evil
- The Devourer cult on Korthos.
- The Dark Six cult on Sorrowdusk.
- The Vulkoorim in Menechtarun, a group of drow who worship the scorpion god Vulkoor.
- The cult of the Black Abbot in the Necropolis.
- The cult of the Spinner of Shadows
- The Path of Inspiration .
- The Lord of Blades cult.
- Interestingly enough, the player can be a follower of this cult as a Warforged. These include Warforged Paladins . Who are like every other paladin, paragons of goodness.
- The cult/empire of Lolth.
- It’s easier to count the religions that aren’t this, actually.
- Repeatable Quest : Adventures are infinitely repeatable on four different difficulty levels each. The first play on each adventure/difficulty combo gives an array of experience bonuses, while subsequent replays start adding penalties, eventually hard-capping the XP gain at a very low number for extreme repetition. Ironically, it’s more efficient to not repeat quests too heavily (except for crafting purposes).
- Resurrection Sickness : The effects of death will cause more hardship on your spirit (and poor gameplay) if you die repeatedly.
- Rouge Angles of Satin : To be expected in a “free” MMORPG where one of the playable classes is a rogue.
- Most commonly seen misspelling in the game’s Groups window where help for quests are asked. “How much damage does my powder puff do, again?”
- Just to be funny, the developers created a quest chain giver in House Phiarlan (a village of elven performers cum spymasters) named “Rouge”.
- Scars Are Forever : Some of the appearance customization are a scar somewhere on the face. Naturally, nothing short of reincarnation (basically reroll, but keep used tomes, equipment and levels) can remove it.
- Sealed Evil in a Can : There are several boss monsters that are or were imprisoned in some fashion. Three of them are arc villains, and can be punched out . The Devourer cult at the beginning of the game tries to release a “Devourer beast” that cannot be punched out, meaning that you have to reverse their efforts to thaw it out. The Spinner of Shadows, sealed for eons in the plane of Khyber, is another canned boss that led to a MUCH more powerful goddess.
- Self-Imposed Challenge : The Perma-Death Challenge.
- Sentry Gun : Magefire Cannons, and to a lesser extent, the Artificer’s Flame Turret spell.
- Shattering the Illusion : The first section of the “Partycrashers” quest takes place in the Phiarlan Illusionarium, which is packed with illusionary enemies and traps that can, and will, hurt you. The only way to get past them is to destroy the Dragonmarks of Shadow that created them.
- Shoot the Mage First : Killing the casters first is a good rule to follow, given the general danger of spellcasters in D&D in general.
- Shout-Out : Stuffed to the gills with them. From Heavy Metal references all over the place such as a scorpion boss named Schenker to a quest called Running with the Devils to a bard themed sword with the enscription Anthem of the heart; Anthem of the mind to Star Wars flavored quotes in NPC text to MythologyGag ‘s to other D&D properties (for example, in the quest Fear Factory there’s an optional locked door behind which first you find a dead Acrobat. Further down you fight an undead Cavalier, Ranger, Magician, and Barbarian. Popular theory is the Thief sold them out. Makes the end of DungeonsandDragons a bit Harsher in Hindsight .)
- For an exhaustive list check out this thread: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/364243-Easter-Eggs-and-Puns-in-DDO
- There’s a new raid featuring three weapons named Nightmare, the Fallen Moon, Celestia, Brightest Star of Day, and Twilight, Element of Magic .
- Slippery Skid : Throw your Grease spell and players with low Balance skills begin a series of Pratfalls . This might also get you kicked from the party if you do this against enemies that rarely fall for it during battle.
- Squishy Wizard : Even with 20 extra hit points at start, it’s still not a good idea for most sorcerers or wizards to get into melee, especially at lower levels.
- Steam Punk : Considering the setting , the game has this and Dungeon Punk all over the place, from the low-level The Waterworks and Shan-To-Kor, to the advanced adversaries in the Cannith Manufactuary. The Menace of the Underdark expansion, however, sticks to the high-fantasy campaign settings when you visit the Forgotten Realms.
- Summon Magic : Every spellcasting class except Paladin and Artificer has access to either the Summon Monster or Summon Nature’s Ally line of spells, Artificers can summon a stationary fire-shooting turret , and any player can hire a mercenary to fight beside them. There’s an associated Feat (Augment Summoning) that makes all summoned creatures and hirelings more powerful.
- Taken for Granite : in one quest, a Medusa has petrified every palace guard and noble in a palace. It can (temporarily) happen to her thanks to a mirror placed there.
- Talking Is a Free Action : Ehh… kinda. If you have a microphone, you can talk to your party while you play (sound quality varies). If you stop in the middle of combat to type to your teammates, you’re likely to die unless your cleric is particularly competent.
- Subverted when fighting a boss or mini-boss with dialogue, whom you can kill before they’re done with their Monologuing or Evil Gloating . Nothing says Shut Up, Hannibal! like a Holy Burst greatsword to the face.
- Take That! : Broccoli or the Beholder ?
- There’s rumors that they are making the Broccoli a playable class with veggie themed attacks.
- There’s a quest-giving NPC that asks you to retrieve 10 rat tails . When your character reacts incredulously (“You can NOT be serious!”), the NPC’s whole table bursts out laughing. He then gives you the REAL mission.
- The Can Kicked Him : Enforced Trope . A challenge named Moving Targets has an optional objective of killing a boss in the toilets.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman : Single-target spells, weapons, and abilities aren’t considered very useful next to area-of-effects that can hit multiple enemies at once, but you’ll need someone with strong single-target abilities and minimal AoE damage to beat “Let Sleeping Dust Lie” as you have to kill specific enemies in the middle of packs of weaker enemies you’re not allowed to kill.
- Time Travel : The Chronoscope Raid, where you go back in time to the Devil invasion in the Stormreach Marketplace.
- Too Dumb to Live : Somehow Tremas got it into his head that it would be a good idea to kill a powerful devil by aging him to death. Devils are immortal, and since Tremas is a tiefling there is no reason why he would not know this (having likely worked with them for his entire adult life). He still acts surprised when it fails, though.
- The Delirium and Acute Delirium quests were caused by an apprentice who wanted to show off to his girlfriend with a scepter created by the Lord of Eyes, the Daelkyr Prince of Madness. You can guess what happens…
- House Deneith’s tower is heavily-protected from the ground but has a completely undefended airship dock at the top. The tower guards even point out the enemy would have to fly like a bird to attack. They’re fighting pirates, who have airships. Guess what happens. Luckily for them, Visbane wasn’t as oblivious to this as the rest of them.
- The Undead : They tend to be Goddamn Bats to rogues, because a +5 Holy Shortsword of Disruption is a mite costly at lower levels (and can’t be used anyway until you’re MUCH higher in character level ). On the other hand, they are loveable for wizards, especially if you have Command Undead (LV2 Necromancy specialisation spell) to turn them into your temporarily allies. Bonus point for Skeletal Knight summon for Wizard class.
- Understatement : After you destroy the Quori Mindsunder in “Misery’s Peak,” the Dungeon Master notes that the dragon you just freed from its power looks “very annoyed” — as she uses her ice breath on the Mind Flayer that had her under its thrall and turns it into a popsicle .
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight : Fred, the resident Eldritch Abomination brain-eater/feat retrainer. Also Hennespyra, the Argonnessen emissary, who periodically flies into Stormreach as a gigantic white dragon and lands right next to the bank in the Marketplace before bothering to assume humanoid form.
- Unwinnable by Mistake : It’s possible to enter certain quests unaware that you don’t have what you need to finish them and you won’t know it until you get to that point. Locked doors or unsurvivable traps are the most common form of this but there are others:
- “The Missing Party” requires at least two people to solve a lever puzzle. If you’ve gone in solo and forgot to bring a hireling it’s impossible to finish. Similarly, “Flesh-Maker’s Laboratory” requires five runes to be deactivated in a short time. This is impossible solo and a Luck-Based Mission with a hireling, so at least two live players are recommended.
- “The Bookbinder Rescue” requires you to be able to break doors down before the enemies kill the NPCs you need to save. The enemies begin attacking the NPCs when you approach the door, not when it breaks, and they must be broken with melee attacks or certain AoE spells like Fireball. If you’re on a character with a weak melee attack and none of the right spells (such as a low-level Warlock) you won’t be able to break the door before the NPC dies. Making this even harder, all the doors have traps in front of them.
- “Entering the Gate Chamber” requires someone with a ranged weapon to shoot a target lever to lower a bridge at the very end. Unlike almost every other instance of this mechanic, no ranged weapon is provided for you so if nobody has one someone has to leave and get one or, if solo, the entire quest has to be repeated.
- “The Xorian Cipher” can become this through the simple act of being just a little too overzealous. The hallway connecting the middle portion of the dungeon to the final area is laden with multiple traps, and if you aren’t cautious, you are certain to die to them. However, there is a nearby resurrection shrine… that’s just slightly too far from the hallway, leaving you no time to run there before being reset to the position of your soulstone. If your entire party dies to the hallway, it will be impossible for anyone to make it back to the resurrection shrine, rendering the quest unwinnable and therefore forcing the party to restart.
- By a similar vein, the optional battle with the dungeon’s miniboss can be this. The room has a raised gate and is seemingly empty, but upon entering, the floor falls away to reveal the boss’s lair underneath. If the entire party isn’t in the room when the floor falls away, all gates leading to the area slam shut and don’t open again, forcing whoever is inside to battle the boss by themselves. If they die, their soulstone can’t be retrieved, and the miniboss rewards are lost to the rest of the team.
- Up to Eleven : Due to the recent expansion, the Epic difficulty has been divided into four difficulties.(Epic Casual, Normal, etc.) The old Epic mode was between Epic Hard and Epic Elite in terms of difficulty. Epic Elite is somehow much more challenging than the old Epic mode, with dogs that can kill you in less than 5 hits, and traps dealing absurd amounts of damage. Now, imagine fighting the Lord of Blades on Epic Elite…
- Useless Useful Spell : Plenty of them:
- Anything that does stat damage often takes a lot of hits before it may become effective.
- Turn Undead, which can incapacitate or destroy targets but seldom works on anything powerful enough to be worth fighting in the first place.
- Fear, which mostly causes weak enemies to run away and thus take longer to kill.
- Bosses, of course, are largely immune to stat damaging, along with all other forms of instant death, level drain, paralysis, charm, stun, petrification, knockdown and immobilization.
- As an inversion, however, several of these effects are highly useful against anything that isn’t completely immune.
- Enhancements, spells, and item effects can be used to increase stat damage effectiveness, especially with poison in the last 2012 updates.
- Vancian Magic : Played straight on points one (spells do one thing and only that one thing) and three (spell levels, caster levels, must rest to recharge spells), averted on point two: spellcasting players have a Mana Meter .
- Villain Ball : Suulomades apparently grabbed this while planning his attack on Stormreach. As opposed to simply waltzing through a city where not a single living soul is strong enough to take him on, he sends an army of mid-level Mooks to do his dirty work while he was back on Shavarath. This resulted in the devils losing the battle when it could have been won with very little effort.
- Tremas also does this when he tries to kill Suulomades by aging him to death . Suulomades then does it again while overlapping with Lawful Stupid by taking Tremas to Shavarath to face the prescribed punishment (torture) instead of entering a battle that his much weaker minions are losing.
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind : Averted. Malicia is the main antagonist of a level 5 story arc, and is also the main antagonist of a level 18 quest. In both cases she is of a higher level than the characters.
- Violation of Common Sense : “The Pit,” yet again. Often the general strategy of the Pit, when going from up high to a lower point, is to jump off and use your feather-falling boots to survive, and steer yourself to the next area. Jumping off cliffs as shortcuts in general tends to be this.
- One of the quests has you launching yourself from a ballistae to get into enemy settlement. Good time to get your Feather Falling boots on? No. If you keep them on, one of the ballistae will launch you in a wolf pack led by Mini-Boss Alfa. Others? They’ll just send you to the other side of the level to run back again.
- Walk on Water : Before late 2012, you could become a Monk, choose the Path of Inevitable Dominion (dark) path, choose the right enhancements and eventually gain the ability to focus your ki to walk (well, run, really) on water (and lava, but you might still take damage). Your Remo Williams and Master Chiun dreams come true . But now, that ability has been lost to major game changes.
- You All Look Familiar :
- Inverted. The NPCs are fairly varied… it’s the player characters who tend to all look the same.
- The enemy NPCs (i.e. monsters) will all use the same character model. Any given batch of cultists will look an awful lot like any other given batch of cultists.
- The final quest of Korthos Island has the player (or player in front, if in a party) turn a corner to see several cultists dressed in all white marching in a 2×3 formation. All identical down to walking in step.
- You Have to Burn the Web : Some of the earlier quests involve webs that block your progress. You can get through them with a cutting weapon, a flaming weapon, or a fire spell… Or any other mundane weapon, or your fists, or any kind of attack spell . It’s worth noting though, that the webs WILL simply shrivel away if you light them on fire.
- The actual Web spell can be burned away with a fireball or burning hands spells or some other fire area effect.
- Some higher-level quests have web curtains which cannot be burned or damaged in any way, but as soon as you kill the spiders involved, the webs part obligingly.
- Zerg Rush : Kobolds and zombies are fond of this tactic. There is a quest where the player must kill 200 kobolds, who come in large waves.
- Another quest cranks this up where you have to beat 200+ hobgoblins and bugbears, which are significantly more of a threat due to almost half of them being casters and require strategy rather than brute force to thin out. The last wave contains ogres.
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